Sporting Coach Jorge Jesus already upset Juventus once and has “no doubt” he can do it again in the Champions League.
It kicks off tomorrow in Turin at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT) and they are locked together on three points after two games.
“Considering Barcelona already have two victories under their belts, we believe just as much as Max Allegri that one of the other three teams will finish second in the group,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
“I won’t rule out Olympiakos, but it’s true that with Sporting’s victory in Athens, a positive result in Turin would put us in a strong position.
“Having said that, I don’t think tomorrow’s game is decisive. It’s important, but not decisive, so we have other key matches coming up, as do Juventus.”
The Bianconeri suffered their first home defeat in over two years at the weekend, losing 2-1 to Lazio and sliding to third place in Serie A.
“Juventus lost just one game in Serie A and one to Barcelona in the Champions League, so their campaign is not as negative as people claim.
“This is a side that needs no presentation, as they reached the Final twice in the last three years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have a good game and result here. If Olympiakos are ruled out and it’s between us and Juventus, that’s a good thing for us.”
Sporting only lost 1-0 to Barcelona, so will they take the same man-marking approach to Paulo Dybala that they reserved for Lionel Messi?
“Dybala is a great player, but Messi is Messi, so they have different characteristics. Our strategy will be different, as it depends on Battaglia’s position, which could well be in the zone where Dybala plays the most.”
Seydou Doumbia and Fabio Coentrao were considered major injury doubts and trained separately from the rest of the group, but are available.
“They can play, but before the game we’ll have a training session and some things happen there that we cannot be prepared for. If nothing strange happens, both Doumbia and Coentrao will be ready for the match.
“I brought practically the entire squad with me because I don’t just train 11 players, but an entire group. We need everyone working together for this journey.”
Jorge Jesus was in charge of Benfica when they knocked Juventus out of the Europa League semi-final in 2014, denying them the chance to play the Final in Turin.
“I didn’t know the Juventus logo had changed… I would like to have the same sensations as I did in that semi-final and I believe it is completely possible.
“Sporting have everything it takes to fight for the victory and we come here with that intention. I am certain of one thing, which is that the confidence and determination of the Sporting players will be greater to that of the Juventus squad. The quality of the players might be different, but I have no doubts on their approach.
“If there is one country in the world where the quality of the tactics and Coaches counts more than anything, it’s in Italy. It’s true that in recent years the other countries have evolved too, but the Italian tacticians have always been evolved.”