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Juventus targets first Europa League win

Juventus targets first Europa League win

Juventus will be hoping to end a run of three consecutive draws in Europa League Group A when it hosts Red Bull Salzburg on Thursday.
The two sides drew 1-1 in Salzburg in the last round of matches and both teams need a win to increase their chances of progressing to the next stage.
"The draw with Manchester City was good, but we let ourselves down at home to Lech Poznan," winger Simone Pepe said. "We need a victory to help us progress from the group."
City leads the group with seven, Poznan is second with four, Juventus is third with three, while Salzburg has one.
Juventus goes into the match on the back of a confidence-boosting 2-1 win away to AC Milan at the San Siro. The result means that Juventus is up to fourth in Serie A on 15 points.
"The victory on Saturday has given us even more faith in our abilities," Pepe said. "It was something we lacked before, but now we have a lot of it.
"Up to now we have drawn three times and we need at least one win to stand a chance of progressing in the Europa League."
Luigi Delneri's team is facing an injury crisis though.
Paolo De Ceglie is out for three months with a knee injury, Jorge Martinez has broken a bone in his foot and is out of action for two months, while goalkeeper Alex Manninger has a back injury and will be on the sidelines for a month.
It means that Pepe may be called into action as an emergency fullback on Thursday.
"We know we have a lot of injuries," Pepe said, "but whoever takes the field is good and it means we won't miss the injured player.
"I have always said that if he needs to the coach can always count on me (to fill in) as I did against Milan. I think that with some self-sacrifice and desire you can adapt to any role."
Salzburg is in good form in the Austrian Bundesliga and has taken seven points from the last nine available to move to fifth in the standings.
Nonetheless Salzburg coach Huub Stevens expects an improvement for the match in Turin's Olympic Stadium.
"I am not happy with seven points from the last three games or with the performances," Stevens said. "Perhaps a few players already had their thoughts on Turin on Sunday."
Stevens has injury concerns of his own, with both David Mendes and Ibrahim Sekagya struggling with thigh injuries following the draw with Rapid Vienna.
However, goalkeeper Eddie Gustafsson made a return to training on Tuesday.
"Juventus would love to win, and almost need to win if it is to qualify," Stevens said. "Juventus needs to beat us and will play to do so. That is a top class team and we need to be at our absolute best to take anything home with us."


Updated : 2021-01-26 05:29 GMT+08:00