Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Juventus-Trabzonspor Preview: Bianconeri seek European redemption

Juventus' Fernando Llorente celebrates a goal

Juventus host Trabzonspor in the Europa League on Thursday eyeing redemption after a surprise exit from the Champions League prior to the winter break.

Antonio Conte's men were knocked out of the competition in the group stages by another Turkish outfit - Super Lig champions Galatasaray - and face tomorrow's visitors for the first time in their history.

The defending Italian champions have won the tournament on three occasions, although all of those triumphs came in the Europa League's former Uefa Cup format.

They are, though, sure to face a stern test on Thursday against a side that has yet to lose in this season's competition and who have already fared well against Italian opposition, having drawn twice with Lazio on their way to topping Group J.

However, their domestic campaign has been less fruitful and they head into the clash without a permanent coach after Mustafa Resit Akcay's resignation earlier this month.

A 4-2 defeat to Akhisar Belediyespor prompted Akcay's decision to step down, with assistantHami Mandirali taking temporary charge of a side who are ninth and without a Super Lig win in four games.

Forward Emre Gural scored a double on his return to the starting line up in the 2-2 draw at Karabukspor on Saturday, staking his claim for another start.

Juventus are set to be without defender Giorgio Chiellini due to a thigh injury, while strikerMirko Vucinic is unavailable with a knee problem.

Defender Andrea Barzagli is on the mend after a tendon problem, with Conte set to make a late decision on his fitness.

Juventus-Trabzonspor Preview: Bianconeri seek European redemption Rating: 4.5 Posted by: Unknown

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