Pressure all on Juve, says Stale Solbakken

AFP| Updated: Nov 27, 2013, 00:32 AM IST

Turin: FC Copenhagen coach Stale Solbakken says the pressure will be all on Juventus when the sides` meet in a key Champions League clash on Wednesday.

Copenhagen frustrated Antonio Conte`s men during a 1-1 draw in the Danish capital in September and ahead of Wednesday`s match in Turin hold a one-point lead on the Italian champions, who are bottom of Group B.

With no wins from their opening three games, Juve`s backs are firmly to the wall -- a win, coupled with a Real Madrid victory over Galatasaray, would relaunch their bid for a place in the last 16.

A draw in Turin would keep the Italians mathematically in contention but defeat to the Danes would bring their qualification bid to a shuddering halt.

With Copenhagen level with Galatasaray on four points, Solbakken said his side will be playing with plenty of belief.

And although aware of potentially suffering the same fate as fellow Danes Nordsjaelland, who held Juve 1-1 at home last season before being thumped 4-0 in Turin, Solbakken said he is "not afraid".

"We want to have a go at it. The pressure is on Juventus and perhaps that might work in our favour.

"We`ll give it our best shot, try to be brave and make a real fight of it. Anything can happen over the course of 90 minutes."

Solbakken, who cheated death in 2001 when he was pronounced clinically dead after suffering a heart attack on the training pitch before being revived in the ambulance, led Copenhagen to the last 16 in 2011 when the Danes were ousted by Chelsea.

But despite hopes of a repeat, he admits Juve will be tough opponents who will benefit from the extra height of Spanish striker Fernando Llorente, who played no part in the first leg.

"We have the greatest respect for Juve," added Solbakken.

"They were the best side against Real Madrid and Galatasaray and have been unlucky in the Champions League so far. They have an extremely strong midfield and are now back at the top of Serie A."

Llorente, who has scored twice in the group stages so far, scored a superb volley on Sunday, when he also set up Carlos Tevez for Juve`s second in a 2-0 win away to Livorno.

With his tongue seemingly in cheek, Solbakken said the Danes had less fear of Juve in Copenhagen because the visitors` "small strikers" were less of a threat.

But he added: "We weren`t afraid of crosses in the first leg, but now Juve have another alternative in Fernando Llorente, who is a threat in the box."