Serie A Champions Juventus begin their Champions League campaign against Danish Champions Kobenhavn. Antonio Conte will be eager for his team to start the European season with a win in a considerably difficult group which also comprises Turkish league champions Galatasaray and nine-time European cup winners Real Madrid.
Juventus drew their first three matches in the group stage last season but recovered to top the group. Bayern Munich, who went on to win the tournament, defeated them in the quarterfinals. Last season was Conte's first taste of the Champions League and reaching the last eight will certainly provide encouragement ahead of this campaign. The Italian coach believes his team have an outside chance to lift the trophy next May.
"We've got to be realistic, but at the same time, we don't want to set ourselves any limits," Conte said before the game. "We could be dangerous outsiders."
Juventus dropped their first points of the season in last weekend's fixture against Inter Milan. Conte insists that he will rotate his squad to cope with playing two difficult fixtures consecutively.
"We will be rotating, there's no two ways about it," he said. "We will not change our organisation and our ideas of how to play football, I'll just be replacing those who are tired. I have faith in my squad and am convinced that everybody will give me excellent answers."
'The derby of Italy', as it is popularly referred to, finished 1-1 with Arturo Vidal grabbing the goal for the Turin club. Vidal has been the stand-out performer for Juventus this season, having scored three goals in three games so far.
Their opponents Kobenhavn have started the season poorly. After eight games of the Danish Superliga, Kobenhavn team are tenth in the table. They have won only once, drawn four times and lost three times.
The Danish team's abject form has made Juventus the heavy pre-game favourites. However, Kobenhavn will take heart from their last foray in the Champions League. They finished second in the group stages behind Barcelona and were subsequently eliminated by Chelsea in the round of 16.
Juventus: Claudio Marchisio, Martin Caceres and Simone Pepe are the only absentees. Mirko Vucinic and Andrea Barzagli have recovered from minor injuries and will be available for selection.
Kobenhavn: Center back Kris Stadsgaard is manager Stale Solbakken's only injury concern. Former Aston Villa and Juventus defender Olof Melberg is in line to play against his former club.
Where to Watch
Kick-off is at 12:15 am (Wednesday, September 18).
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