Monday October 1 2012
Chiellini: Shakhtar tie will be key

Juventus stopper Giorgio Chiellini has described Tuesday’s match with Shakhtar Donetsk as the most crucial of the group stage.

Despite being included in the same section as champions Chelsea, Chiellini thinks tomorrow’s tie could help decide qualification.

“We’re aware that tomorrow’s game is the most important of the group, so we’re counting on our fans to fill the stands and make it even more special,” he stated at Vinovo on Monday.

“We experienced a special atmosphere in London, but this is our first home game at the Juventus Stadium and it will be extremely exciting.”

Juventus boss Massimo Carrera today insisted that his boys won’t underestimate Mircea Lucescu’s side and Chiellini mirrored that statement.

“We’ll be taking on a very strong and underrated outfit,” he argued. “When the draw was made I heard people talk about an easy group, which couldn’t be further from the truth…

“Shakhtar have players who would make the starting line-up of the majority of European sides. We’ve got a lot of respect of them.

“Saying that, we are still convinced that we can win – even if it will need a great Juve.”

Chiellini was also asked about how far his team could go in the competition, but he refused to make any predictions.

“We don’t want to set minimum or maximum objectives, but we certainly haven’t returned to the Champions League to be knocked out at the group stage.

“It has been tough to watch this tournament as an outsider in recent years.”