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Juve will not miss Pirlo, says Mancini

Galatasaray coach Roberto Mancini does not believe Juventus will miss Andrea Pirlo when the two sides meet in the UEFA Champions League.

Mancini’s men host the Serie A champions at the Turk Telecom Arena on Tuesday, and need a win to qualify for the last 16 of the competition.

Juve, meanwhile, only require a draw to ensure their progression, but will be without influential midfielder Pirlo for the game because of a knee injury.

However, Mancini, whose opening game in charge of the Turkish champions came in a 2-2 draw with Juve in Turin in October, does not believe the 34-year-old’s absence will have that much of an impact.

“Pirlo is certainly a fundamental player, the one who sets the tempo,” Mancini told Tuttosport .

“But it’s also true they still have Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba. It’s not as if their midfield is in bad shape.”

The former Manchester City boss knows it will be tough to take all three points from Antonio Conte’s men, but has urged his side to play without fear.

“What worries me is that Juve can be happy with a draw and still qualify,” he added.

“We have the utmost respect for them, as they are one of the best teams in Europe, getting better every year and it will be tough for us.

“I think we need to be calm when playing football, not tense or full of doubt.

“What we must first of all do on Tuesday is step on to that pitch aware that we have a chance and can gamble with our chips. We are playing at home, which is an advantage, and anything can happen in a football match.”

Sun 8 December, 2013
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