David Trezeguet, the Juventus striker, rates tonight's match with Deportivo La Coruña in Spain as "crucial". Group D is the tightest of all the Champions' League groups, with Juve, Arsenal, Bayer Leverkusen and Deportivo all square on four points.
It is poised on a knife edge, with the Italians' superior goal difference separating the two sides. But the goalless draw at the Stadio delle Alpi last Wednesday showed that the Italians are not in for an easy ride. Trézéguet said: "We are going there to win, for us it is a crucial match. Deportivo are a great team but we managed to make their lives difficult without playing very well. Last year we played there and I remember the warmth of the Galician crowd."
Marcello Lippi has recalled the striker Nicola Amoruso and the Croatian defender Igor Tudor, who have both returned after injury.
The Spaniards have been buoyed by a 1-0 home win against Real Zaragoza in La Liga. Their coach Javier Irureta said: "Juventus are probably going to be much more difficult prospect here then they were at home. Firstly [Pavel] Nedved will be playing and he is very important to their tactical set-up.
"In addition to this, the Italians are very sound defensively with some great attacking players such as Alessandro Del Piero, Trézéguet and Nedved, who suit the team's direct style."
Saturday's win ends a spell of three goalless games and the return of the right-winger Victor Sanchez from back injury boosts their attacking options. "I had been feeling pain and was struggling physically for many months, but now I feel happier and more confident," he said. "Winning this game would be massively important. The three points would set us in very good stead for the remaining two games."
Deportivo will be without their Brazilian midfielder Emerson Moises, and possibly his compatriot Mauro Silva. The defender Helder should be available for selection but the veteran Yugoslav Goran Djorovic is doubtful.
* A player with Verona has won a landmark case exempting Italian footballers from military service because they should be considered "artists". Italian law allows young people involved in art, science and culture at a national or international level to avoid military service. The Under-21 midfielder Giuseppe Colucci on Monday won exemption at a tribunal in Lazio, arguing that footballers should benefit from the same special merits. "I am happy because I have created a precedent for other players."Reuse content