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Hosting final can help motivate Juve, says Nedved

SoccerNews in Serie A 11 Apr 2014

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Pavel Nedved says Juventus can take extra motivation from the prospect of contesting the UEFA Europa League final on home soil.

The former Juve midfielder served as the club’s ambassador at the semi-final draw in Nyon on Friday, which saw Antonio Conte’s men drawn against Portuguese outfit Benfica, last season’s runners-up.

This year’s Europa League final will take place at Juventus Stadium in May and Nedved, while recognising the challenge that lies ahead, believes that could benefit his old side.

Initially assessing the merits of Benfica, Nedved said: “They reached the final in the last edition and this is their third semi-final in four years. It’s a squad of considerable European experience and will have additional motivation after losing last year’s final.

“We are very pleased to have reached this stage and to reach the final in Turin is a great motivator, but it will be tough. The matches will be balanced and will be decided by the small details.

“We have the slight advantage of playing the second leg at home, but I do not know what will be decisive.

“We feel the responsibility of being the only Italian team left in Europe. We care about this cup and we want to honour it by playing at our best.”

Juventus travel to Portugal for the first leg against Benfica on April 24, with the return meeting taking place in Turin seven days later.

The winner will then face Spanish opposition in the form of either Sevilla or Valencia.

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