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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Apr 4, 2006

Capello hoping for a 'miracle' in Turin

Juventus coach Fabio Capello insists the Champions League quarter-final tie with Arsenal is far from over even though the English side take a 2-0 lead into Wednesday`s second leg in Turin.

Juve were outplayed at Highbury a week ago, with goals by Cesc Fabregas and Thierry Henry putting the Gunners in the driving seat for a semi-final place.

The Serie A leaders will have to improve immeasurably if they are to turn the tie around and Capello believes his side have the ability to do just that.

'Miracles do happen,' said Capello. 'We are convinced we can do something extraordinary. In football anything can happen.

'People think we are dead in this competition - they are mistaken. We can do it, we have the determination to do great things.'

Juve have failed to progress through to the semi-final stage of the Champions League in either of the past two campaigns.

The Bianconeri will be hoping to avoid a second successive elimination at the hands of English opponents, having been knocked out last season by eventual champions Liverpool.

The game will be all the more challenging for Capello`s men considering they will be without four key players.

Captain Alessandro Del Piero, who missed the first leg, has failed to recover from a thigh injury and has not been included in Capello's squad.

The Turin giants will also be without suspended trio Jonathan Zebina, Mauro Camoranesi and former Arsenal captain Patrick Vieira.

However, Capello does not believe his players should use this as an excuse.

'I am happy with the team I have,' said Capello. 'I prefer to be optimistic and I think we can do well.

'We are ready but it`s certainly the most difficult result to turn around since I joined Juve.'

Capello is confident his team have learned from the mistakes they made at Highbury - Juve struggled in both attack and defence, and ended the game with nine men following the sending-offs of Zebina and Camoranesi.

'We are well aware of the errors we made,' he said. 'We have learnt from them and with respect to my players` indiscipline, I hope it doesn`t happen again.

'As for the other aspects of the game, concentration and determination will be crucial. We respect Arsenal and we know they are strong but so are we.'

Capello acknowledged his attacking duo David Trezeguet and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will need to show their very best form if his team are to go through.

Arsenal have only conceded two goals in Europe this season while Juve have struggled of late to find the back of the net.

'I hope we can create more goalscoring opportunities than we did in the opening leg,' he said.

'It's obviously going to be more difficult considering the opponents we face but we must try.'

At least Juve have Czech Republic playmaker Pavel Nedved available in Turin.

Nedved returns having missed the first leg through suspension and will be responsible for driving Juve forward from midfield.

'We will have to attack from the very beginning,' said Capello. 'Nedved is a player who can change the game's rhythm and he is crucial for us.'

Juve will also have to hold their ground in defence for an Arsenal goal could all but end their hopes of progressing.

'If Arsenal score, we will need a double miracle,' said Capello.

Juve's defence will have to keep a close eye on Arsenal captain Henry, a familiar face at the Delle Alpi having played for the Italians earlier in his career before being sold to the Gunners.

When questioned about Henry's extra motivation when playing against his former side, Capello said: 'Having seen Henry's overall performances this season, it would seem as though he does well every time he plays against Juventus.'

However, Capello did admit Juve made a mistake in letting Henry go in the first place.

'With young players, you can make errors,' he said. 'You need patience and time for players to mature. But sometimes you make mistakes and other times it works well.'

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