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Capello backs Juve ahead of Roma clash

Fabio Capello has revealed he expects Juventus to confirm their status as Serie A favourites on Saturday with a win over Roma.

Fabio Capello has revealed he expects Juventus to confirm their status as Serie A favourites on Saturday with a win over Roma.

The Old Lady lead the Italian top flight by five points and travel to the capital on the back of a comprehensive 3-0 Champions League victory at Celtic.

The Giallorossi, in contrast, are yet to win a league game in 2013 and recently sacked coach Zdenek Zeman.

Capello, who guided Roma to the Scudetto in 2000 before taking charge of Juventus four years later, made it known that while he is an admirer of the Olimpico side and their efforts to reinvent themselves, the Turin giants remain the benchmark on the peninsula.

“Juve are the favourites for the title, but in summer I had tipped Roma to be one of Juventus’ main rivals. They have an attractive young group and are already competitive,” the current Russia coach told La Gazzetta dello Sport.

“Juventus are the strongest amongst all the other teams (in Serie A) and neither Milan nor Inter are competing at 100 percent. This is a nice gift for Conte. The most dangerous competition has disappeared.

“I like Juve’s approach. There is attention to the defence but also the desire to play football. They never throw possession away.

“They are not the strongest team in the Champions League, but neither were Chelsea last year.”

“Their mentality is simple – win and turn the page. They always seek to raise the bar and are never satisfied. They have several leaders in their squad such as (Andrea) Pirlo, (Gianluigi) Buffon, (Giorgio) Chiellini.

“Oh, and another thing that is making a difference: (Mirko) Vucinic. He completes Pirlo’s wonderful build-up play.”

Capello then lavished praise on Italy veteran Pirlo and the telling impact that the midfielder has made since his arrival from AC Milan in 2011.

“Every time Pirlo plays, he becomes more ageless,” he said. “Milan have really given a fantastic gift to Juventus. Pirlo’s story reminds me of a naive mistake made by a young coach.

“I was once told, ‘Dear Fabio, you can go wrong when buying a player but you cannot get it wrong when you give them away’. He was right. Milan made a serious mistake when they lost Pirlo.”

Sat 16 February, 2013
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