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Juventus braced for Chelsea war machine

March 10, 2009 10:40 IST

Juventus are preparing to battle with an expensive war machine in Tuesday's UEFA Champions League last-16 second leg against Chelsea, said coach Claudio Ranieri.

Hosts Juve need to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Ranieri's former club, who have been revitalised by Guus Hiddink after the Dutchman took over as coach from Luiz Felipe Scolari last month.

"One of this team's arms is their fighting spirit, which seems to be back after the change of coach," Ranieri told a news conference on Monday.

"Chelsea are once again a war machine, built by spending lots of money."

Ranieri will be without defender Nicola Legrottaglie, still suffering with a knee problem sustained in a Serie A win over Napoli nine days ago.

Marco Marchionni has also failed to shake off a knock and joins an injured list including fellow midfielders Mauro Camoranesi and Mohamed Sissoko, out for the rest of the season after breaking his foot in Saturday's derby win over Torino.

With Legrottaglie out, Sweden's Olof Mellberg is likely to line up alongside Giorgio Chiellini in the centre of the Juventus defence.


Juve captain Alessandro Del Piero is also expecting a hard time against a team coached by the man behind Italy's exit from the 2002 World Cup, when Hiddink was coach of co-hosts South Korea.

"I don't have good memories of him from Korea," said Del Piero. "He has always proven himself to be a skilled coach.

"Now he has great players at his disposal. It won't be an easy match for us.

"Technique and tactics will not be enough. Heart, pride and will to win are needed too."

Hiddink said Chelsea would try to score in Turin.

"It is always important to have a clean sheet but if you just wait in the second leg [and concentrate] on not conceding and don't have any initiative, you will have a lot of problems," he said.

"Whenever we can, it is in the character of this team, we like to attack. We are not just coming here to defend because then you are asking for a lot of problems."

Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka and midfielder Deco are fighting to overcome toe and hamstring problems respectively.

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