Juventus FC are ready to erase memories of last May's final, starting with Galatasaray SK in Turin.
Gone and forgotten
The Italian title-holders, beaten finalists in last season's competition, are ready to launch a new bid for European glory - and insist that the disappointment of defeat by AC Milan is long forgotten. "Not many teams can move on from a setback like that," the Juventus coach Marcello Lippi said on Tuesday. "For me, Manchester is forgotten and that match is just a minor irritant when I see the highlights on TV."
Respect for Galatasaray
A win against Galatasaray, Turkish league runners-up in 2002/03, would further erase any lingering memories among Bianconeri supporters. However, the three points will not come easy against Fatih Terim's side. "We are up against a good team," said Lippi. "We have a lot of respect for them. They have a coach and players with top international experience."
Lippi certainly knows all about Terim's capabilities, having locked horns with the former Turkish national coach when Terim was Milan's coach during the 2001/02 season. "I knew Terim when he was coaching here in Italy and I get on well with him. Obviously I know what kind of coach he is and that his team won't come here to defend. He is about attacking football."
Ins and outs
That being the case, Lippi could regret the absence of central defender Nicola Legrottaglie, who scored in Saturday's 2-1 league win at AC Chievo Verona, but misses out with a thigh injury. Better news was the recovery of Juve's other goalscorer in Verona, David Trezeguet, from a similar problem. Stephen Appiah, Mauro Camoranesi and Edgar Davids should also be available again, but Italian international striker Fabrizio Miccoli is sidelined along with Antonio Conte, Gianluca Pessotto and Marcelo Zalayeta.
Terim, meanwhile, will be hoping for a better result than on his last visit to Turin, when a 1-0 defeat by Torino Calcio heralded the end of his brief reign as Milan coach. However, Galatasaray's 1-0 away defeat by Konyaspor at the weekend does not augur well for a happy return. "If we continue to play like this, we will be thrashed by Juventus," Terim was reported as saying.
"This is not the real Galatasaray," he continued. "I miss the team that I knew in the past. I have decided that, as of now, only the players who will try their best will play." But Terim's options have been reduced by injuries to defender Orhan Ak, midfielder João Batista, and forwards Ali Lukunku and Ümit Karan. Meanwhile, three other players have not been registered to appear in the competition - Murat Erdogan, Omer Erdogan, and Florin Daniel Bratu.
On the positive side, Galatasaray have won three of their other four league matches this season, and Terim can recall Turkish international Ergün Penbe, rested on Saturday, to provide the bullets for Hakan Sükür up front. Whether that will be enough to deny group favourites Juventus remains to be seen.