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Mancini warns Galatasaray to watch their backs

Roberto Mancini said that Galatasaray AŞ cannot afford to be gung ho in their must-win Group B game against a Juventus side who will not be playing for just a point.

Roberto Mancini hopes that the noisy home crowd will bring the best out of Galatasaray
Roberto Mancini hopes that the noisy home crowd will bring the best out of Galatasaray ©AFP/Getty Images

Roberto Mancini warned his Galatasaray AŞ side that they could not take a gung-ho approach to their decisive final Group B fixture against Juventus. Galatasaray need to win but Mancini said: "The important thing is to defend well."

Juventus go into the game two points better off in second place, meaning a draw will be enough to take the visitors into the UEFA Champions League last 16, but Juve coach Antonio Conte said they were thinking only of victory. "We'll try to play the game to win," he promised. In a tight section, if Galatasaray pick up fewer points than FC København do against Real Madrid CF, they will finish bottom. Juve will finish bottom if they lose and FCK win.

Roberto Mancini, coach
It will be a good game in terms of playing a big team like Juventus. Juventus have not conceded a goal for seven matches in Serie A so it will be very hard to beat them. It's difficult for both teams, perhaps more so for us given we've only one result [to qualify].

On the other hand, our supporters give us an advantage. I'm very happy to feel their trust in us. We trust them so much too and know that they will help us. We'll do everything to win it, the fans will lend us a hand. The important thing is to defend well. Conceding a goal would make it difficult, and we can't leave too many spaces at the start. We can't forget the game lasts 90 minutes.

Playing without [Andrea] Pirlo is a very difficult situation for any coach. Pirlo is a magnificent player and Juventus will lose something without him. But they have good quality players who can replace him. Our target is definitely qualifying for the next round. We are not thinking of any other possibility such as finishing in third place.

Weekend result
Friday: Galatasaray 2-0 Elazığspor (Selçuk İnan 2, Burak 7)
Muslera; Eboué, Chedjou, Ceyhun Gülselam, Gökhan Zan; Selçuk İnan, Felipe Melo (Hakan Balta 84), Kurtuluş (Emre Çolak 74), Riera; Drogba (Umut 69), Burak Yılmaz.

• Friday's win marked Galatasaray's first clean sheet under Mancini. The Italian's side have won just two of their last seven games in regulation time, though their haul of 23 points from 13 games is only two shy of their tally at the same stage last term when they were top of the league.

Team news
Fernando Muslera, out with a broken toe since 1 November, returned on Friday. Hamit Altıntop is out with a back problem but Wesley Sneijder could feature for the first time in six weeks following a thigh injury.

Antonio Conte, coach
This is a decisive match, not the first for us and we hope it will not be the last. We will go out on to the pitch with our mentality and our idea of how to play the game and we hope to secure qualification. [Playing for a draw] is something we don't have in us. Galatasaray are a strong team, it'll be a red-hot atmosphere but we'll try to play to win even if we respect Mancini's side, whose domestic form is improving, and their attacking potential with players like [Didier] Drogba and Sneijder.

With regards to the game in Turin, we have improved a lot since then, but we have to be alert and concentrate from start to finish. I can't give any percentage about our chances of qualifying. The team who play better will win the game.

When we learned Andrea Pirlo was injured for a long time, it was one of the most difficult moments of the season for us. The absence of Pirlo, who is irreplaceable, should not hurt us – we were strong enough to win against Udinese and Bologna without him and we have to succeed against Galatasaray too.

My colleague, Roberto Mancini, is very new here. When you arrive in a new country and at a new team, every coach needs time to get used to the mood in that country and also to reflect their plans clearly on the field. In my opinion, Galatasaray are in a good way now and they are in safe hands.

Weekend result
Friday: Bologna FC 0-2 Juventus (Vidal 12, Chiellini 89)

Buffon; Barzagli, Ogbonna, Chiellini; Isla, Vidal, Pogba, Marchisio, Peluso (Asamoah 67); Vučinić (Llorente 39), Quagliarella (Tévez 70).

• Despite Conte opting to rest some of his big names, Juventus racked up their seventh straight league win without conceding. Gianluigi Buffon has not conceded a Serie A goal since the 4-2 defeat by ACF Fiorentina on 20 October.

Team news
Mirko Vučinić came off against Bologna because of a knee injury. Pirlo is out with a knee problem.

Match fact
• Mancini, a boyhood Juventus fan, played for Bologna, UC Sampdoria and SS Lazio in his homeland and has had spells in charge of Fiorentina (2001–2002), Lazio (2002–2004) and FC Internazionale Milano (2004–2008) before taking charge of Manchester City FC from 2009 to 2013.

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