Roberto Mancini says clash against boyhood idols Juventus is nothing special

29 September 2010 04:05
Roberto Mancini will not let any boyhood emotions get in the way of Manchester City's pursuit of European glory as he prepares to welcome Juventus arrive at Eastlands on Thursday night.

The Italian is yet to concede a goal in the Europa League this season but knows the Old lady of Turin will present a far tougher challenge than that of Timisoara or Red Bull Salzburg.

However Mancini says the game against Juve holds little extra special significance, despite the opposition being the team he supported growing up. The City boss also hopes the games proves to be the first of many against Europe's elite.

European tour: Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini is desperate to lead his side to Europa League success

'I played against Juve all my life, and supported them as a young guy, but it is not a special game for me,' Mancini said. 'I want it to become a habit for us to be playing Italian squads, hopefully in the Champions League next year.

'Juve are a strong team. They have signed a lot of players this year and like us are working every day to improve. They have been one of the top clubs in the world for years, and it will be a difficult game.

Fond memories: Mancini in action for Lazio against Juventus during his playing days

'If we win we have six points, and it is important that we go through from the group stage, but when you think that you have done the hard work with two wins, then that is when you can make a mistake.'

Mancini has several fitness doubts ahead of Thursday's Group K clash, namely Shaun Wright-Phillips and Micah Richards. Both face late tests while Wayne Bridge and Aleksandar Kolarov remain absent.

Also likely to miss out is Jerome Boateng, who made his belated debut as a late substitute in the 1-0 win over Chelsea. Mancini said: 'I don't think he will be ready to play all the game.'

It all adds up to an almighty headache for the manager, especially with games coming thick and fast. Just three days after the visit of Juve, Man City face Newcastle in the Premier League.

Mancini added: 'Because we play the Europa League on Thursday nights we have only two days and two nights to recover, but I always put out the strongest team that I can.

'It was different in the Carling Cup, but now I can change two or three players. I've got more options. But I always want to put the best team on the pitch. I hope we can do a good job against Juventus and Newcastle.' 

 Balotelli boost for Mancini with Man City forward set to return next monthMoney won't make you happy! Juve's Motta lays into Man City ahead of clashBalotelli eyes December return as Mancini admits to failed Krasic bidFIFA reveal online system to stop clubs 'playing chicken' on deadline dayMANCHESTER CITY FC

Source: Daily_Mail