Lippi plans confidence trick

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The Independent Online
Marcello Lippi, the Juventus coach, has every reason to be confident going into today's European Cup quarter-final second leg against Rosenborg of Norway.

Domestically, the holders have a five-point lead in Serie A and show no signs of being caught. In Rosenborg, they have on paper the weakest opponents in the last eight and they have the advantage of an away goal from the 1-1 first-leg draw in Trondheim.

Rosenborg sent Milan out of this year's competition at the Champions' League stage, but Juventus have yet to concede a goal at the Delle Alpi stadium in this year's campaign. They have not been beaten there in the cup since 1995 when they lost 2-1 to Borussia Dortmund, but still won the trophy.

"For this game, we need the real Juventus, the side that plays with the right concentration, determination and conviction," Lippi said. "If any of these are missing, then we could be in for a surprise. But that won't happen."

Lippi may make only two changes from the side which beat Roma 3-0 on Sunday, replacing the cup-tied Portuguese defender Manuel Dimas with Mark Juliano and recalling Yugoslav midfielder Vladimir Jugovic in place of Alessio Tacchinardi.

The defender Moreno Torricelli is injured, as is Gianluca Pessotto. Ciro Ferrara had a touch of flu on Monday, but seems certain to play. Reserve strikers Christian Vieri and Nicola Amoruso, who both scored against Roma, are in contention for a place along with Michele Padovano.

The Italian international Alessandro Del Piero is still injured while the Croat striker Alen Boksic, with only 10 minutes competitive football behind him in the last two months after injury, will start as a substitute. "I'm training hard, particularly in the mornings, but I'm incredibly tired," Boksic said. "I don't know why. I think the best thing would be for me to start on the bench. I'm curious to see how it goes."

Rosenborg plan to take the game to Juventus, but their coach, Nils Arne Eggen, admitted the odds were against his side. "We are not going to be cautious. We are not going to retreat. If we do that, then we have not got a chance," he said.

The Norwegians have no injury problems, but striker Harald Brattbakk was not happy about the prospect of being relegated to substitute again.

"I am in good shape. My speed would have been useful against the Italian defence," Brattbakk said. "But I believe Sigurd Rushfeldt will be playing instead of me. Eggen has probably been unsure what to do, but now seems to have made up his mind. I have to respect his decision."

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