Preview Juventus v Ajax Amsterdam: Buffon set for spell on sidelines

Posted on 25/02/2010

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Juventus have suffered a blow ahead of Thursday’s Europa League Round of 32 return leg against Ajax Amsterdam with news that goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon will be sidelined for a month.


Buffon suffered a muscular injury in his right thigh during training on Tuesday, and in addition to Wednesday’s match he is likely to miss five Serie A games and Italy’s friendly against Cameroon next month.


In Buffon’s absence, Juve will not take Ajax lightly despite taking a one-goal lead into the home leg of their Europa League last 32 tie.


Heading into Thursday’s game at the Stadio Olimpico in Turin, the Italians hold a slight advantage over the Dutch giants after earning a 2-1 win in Amsterdam last week.


Juve coach Alberto Zaccheroni wants no surprises and has warned his players to be fully focused.


“We respected Ajax before the first leg and we have even more respect now for them,” he said.


“It was difficult to get a positive result in Amsterdam and my team needs to show the same determination they displayed in Holland (in Turin) tomorrow.”


Juventus won 2-1 at Bologna on Sunday to clinch their second straight win in Serie A for the first time since November. The result lifted Juve to fourth in the standings.


The Bianconeri welcome back Mauro Camoranesi after a long injury lay-off.


Camoranesi has recovered from a thigh injury sustained on December 12 and is expected to start.


French forward David Trezeguet is doubtful with a thigh problem while defender Hasan Salihamidzic serves a one-match ban.


The hosts will fancy their chances with Ajax seeking their first win away to Juve after four failed attempts.


Martin Jol’s side go into the clash in buoyant mood after Sunday’s 4-0 triumph over Vitesse saw them cut the deficit to Eredivisie leaders PSV Eindhoven to seven points.


Ajax lie third with 55 points collected in 24 games.


“We didn’t expect it would be such a walkover,” admitted Jol.


“Everyone did their part, and everyone wanted to score.


“Now we must focus on getting a win at Juve.”


The visitors will be without Uruguay striker Luis Suarez, who serves a one-match ban.


COMPETITION STATS
Juventus Ajax Amsterdam
Goals Carvalho De Oliveira Amauri 2 Dennis Rommedahl 2
Reds Hasan Salihamidzic 1
Yellows Nicola Legrottaglie 1 Luis Suarez 3

Last Five Matches in Competition
Juventus Ajax Amsterdam
A: Ajax Amsterdam 1-2 H: Juventus 1-2
H: Anderlecht 1-3
A: FC Timisoara 1-2
A: Dinamo Zagreb 0-2
H: Dinamo Zagreb 2-1

Next Five Matches in Competition
Juventus Ajax Amsterdam
2/25 H: Ajax Amsterdam 2/25 A: Juventus

Source: ESPN Soccernet

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