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Juve wary of Fulham's fortress

Published: Monday 15 March 2010, 12.33CET
Juventus have a 3-1 first-leg lead and a long European pedigree, but they also possess a poor recent record against English sides and will take nothing for granted as they visit Fulham FC.
by Richard Aikman
from Turin
Juve wary of Fulham's fortress
Juve celebrate David Trezeguet's first-leg goal ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

FulhamJuventus

Goals scored22
 
6
Attempts on target100
 
30
Attempts off target14
 
0
Corners54
 
14
Offsides61
 
18
Fouls committed202
 
43
Yellow cards24
 
8
Red cards4
 
3

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Published: Monday 15 March 2010, 12.33CET

Juve wary of Fulham's fortress

Juventus have a 3-1 first-leg lead and a long European pedigree, but they also possess a poor recent record against English sides and will take nothing for granted as they visit Fulham FC.

Juventus travel to Fulham FC on Thursday hoping to end an English jinx that has plagued the Italian side in Europe for over a quarter of a century.

The Bianconeri's last eight trips to England have brought nothing more than a solitary draw and their four most recent meetings with Premier League sides in knockout competition have ended in elimination. Yet having claimed a 3-1 first-leg lead in Turin, Juve are confident they can end their hoodoo by reaching the UEFA Europa League quarter-finals.

"Fulham are a nice club; it's a great stadium to play in," said Alex Manninger, though the former Arsenal FC goalkeeper will not be there after picking up a thigh injury on Sunday. "We need to play a controlled game at Craven Cottage because they will certainly go for it. We know they are a good home side, very organised, but we scored some great goals against them. It won't be easy, but we go there with a big advantage."

Juventus were 3-1 up by half-time at the Stadio Olimpico, goals from Nicola Legrottaglie, Jonathan Zebina and David Trezeguet leaving Roy Hodgson's side needing at least victory by two clear goals to reach the last eight. For Juventus then, caution is the watchword. "We are confident of going the distance and we know we can go all the way but we still have a long way to go," said Manninger, whose injury, with Gianluigi Buffon already ruled out, means either Carlo Pinsoglio or Antonio Chimenti could make their UEFA club competition debuts.

La Vecchia Signora will certainly want to defend better than they did against AC Siena on Sunday when they squandered a three-goal lead to draw 3-3 with Serie A's bottom side. Hasan Salihamidžić is expecting another tough game in west London. "It'll be very hard over there because it's a small ground," said Salihamidžić. "They play with a great tempo at home and we'll have to be very careful. But if we put them under pressure, the sort of pressure we did in the first leg, it will be really hard for them to play well."

Fulham lost 3-0 at Manchester United FC on Sunday and are without a win in five matches, so Bobby Zamora knows his side face an uphill struggle to turn the table on their visitors. "We sussed them out a little bit more [in Turin] in the second half than we did the first half and hopefully we can continue that at Craven Cottage," said the striker. "It's going to be a tough game, we know that, but we've got a good home record. We've beaten Manchester United and Liverpool at home this season and I see no reason why we can't beat Juventus."

Last updated: 16/03/10 13.57CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefaeuropaleague/season=2010/matches/round=2000039/match=2000953/prematch/focus/index.html#juve+wary+fulham

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