Sunday December 8 2013
Mancini: 'Juve won't miss Pirlo'

Roberto Mancini doubts Juventus will miss Andrea Pirlo too much in Tuesday’s Champions League showdown with Galatasaray.

The Bianconeri will qualify for the Round of 16 if they avoid defeat in Istanbul, but a home win would send the Turkish giants through instead.

“Our first game against Juve was a bit strange, seeing as I had only arrived two days earlier,” Mancini told Tuttosport.

That meeting in Turin ended 2-2 on his debut after replacing sacked Fatih Terim.

“We did well to put in a good performance that opened up the group, so if we are here now able to challenge for qualification it is because we’ve done fairly well.

“I think we need to be calm when playing football, not tense or full of doubt. What we must first of all do on Tuesday is step on to that pitch aware that we have a chance and can gamble with our chips. We are playing at home, which is an advantage, and anything can happen in a football match.

“What worries me is that Juve can be happy with a draw and still qualify. We have the utmost respect for them, as they are one of the best teams in Europe, getting better every year and it will be tough for us.

“However, as Gigi Buffon said, we have extraordinary fans who can really help us in such an important game.”

Juve will be without the injured Pirlo, though Mancio believes they won’t miss him too much.

“Pirlo is certainly a fundamental player, the one who sets the tempo, but it’s also true they still have Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba. It’s not as if their midfield is in bad shape...”

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