Preview: Juventus – RB Salzburg

Posted on 04/11/2010


The Italian giants cannot play for anything other than a win in this crucial Group A fixture…

Going Past The Draw

Juventus haven’t been exactly disastrous in the Europa League but for a club that are used to conquering Europe their performance in the continent’s second most prestigious club competition hasn’t been encouraging either.

With three draws in three matches, the Bianconeri are currently third in Group A, a point behind Lech Poznan and four behind leaders Manchester City. Indeed, one may be pardoned to believe that Luigi Del Neri’s side are trying to ‘draw their way’ into the next round of the Europa League.

However, two of those draws have come away from home and from that perspective it would be fair to say that Juve have done reasonably well not to lose two of their away fixtures. Nevertheless, la Vecchia Signora need to start wining in Europe and defeating Salzburg in Turin will be a good way to do so.

Juventus warmed up for their European adventure with a 2-1 win against Milan at San Siro in Serie A on Saturday that has put them back in the frame for the Scudetto. But Del Neri warns that they cannot afford to get complacent against the Austrians.

“Salzburg are a good team and very quick,” said the Juve tactician. “They made our life difficult a fortnight ago [in a 1-1 draw]. This game will be crucial for us because a win would move us up the standings before a difficult game in Poland next time.

“We’ll try to win because we want to go as far as possible in this competition as we care about Europe.”

Dead And Buried

Austrian side Salzburg are pretty much out of the Europa League as stationed at the foot of the table in Group A, they have collected just one point from their three opening matches.

The 1-1 draw with Juventus a fortnight ago was the reigning Austrian champions’ first point of the season in Europe and they have to win in Turin on Thursday to sustain their already trimmed hopes of qualifying to the next round. Domestically too Salzburg are struggling as after their 1-1 draw with Rapid Vienna at the weekend they are now fifth in the Austria Bundesliga.

Coach Huub Stevens knows the task at hand and indicates that even a draw with the Bianconeri will be a good enough result, saying, “Juve would love to win, and almost need to win if they are to qualify. They need to beat us and will play to do so.

“They are a top-class team and we need to be at our absolute best to take anything back. If we take a point in Turin that is very good, but it is too little for us.”



The Italian giants have a whole host of injury problems. Winger Jorge Martinez has been sidelined until the new year with a foot injury, full-back Paolo De Ceglie is a long-term absentee with a knee problem and goalkeeper Alex Manninger is out with an ankle problem.

Defensive midfielder Felipe Melo too is unavailable because of injury. Del Neri has named 19 players among whom is Filippo Boniperti, grandson of club favourite Giampiero.


David Mendes and Ibrahim Sekagya picked up thigh problems after their game against Rapid Vienna at the weekend but goalkeeper Eddie Gustafsson returned to training on Tuesday.