Cannavaro expects hot reception at Juve
MILAN, Oct 20 (Reuters) - Real Madrid defender Fabio Cannavaro can expect a heated reception when his side visit former club Juventus in Champions League Group H on Tuesday.
Cannavaro fled Juve for Real two years ago, shortly after the club were stripped of their 2005 and 2006 Serie A titles and demoted to the second division in a match-fixing scandal.
Juve fans have never forgiven Italy's World Cup-winning captain for jumping ship when other top players such as Alessandro Del Piero and Pavel Nedved opted to stay.
After immediate promotion and an excellent third place finish last term, the club are back in the Champions League with Cannavaro returning to Juve for the first time since leaving.
"I expect to receive the same reception in Turin as any other former player, in other words to get jeered and insulted," Cannavaro told Italian daily Tuttosport.
"If that happens, then it will not cancel out the two best years of my career, the time when I played my best football."
While some of his former team mates remain, a lot will be different on his return.
The twice European champions have moved to the smaller Stadio Olimpico as the more imposing Stadio delle Alpi is redeveloped, while former colleagues Gianluigi Buffon, Mauro Camoranesi and David Trezeguet are among those out injured.
Juve are no longer the powerhouse they were in 2006 with Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Napoli extending their winless run to five matches and heaping more pressure on coach Claudio Ranieri.
A 1-0 home win over Zenit St Petersburg in their group opener was followed by a 2-2 draw at BATE Borisov of Belarus, but two-goal saviour Vincenzo Iaquinta is doubtful for Tuesday.
Nine-times winners Real, who top the group after beating BATE and Zenit, gave another demonstration of their never-say-die spirit by beating Atletico Madrid 2-1 on Saturday.
Gonzalo Higuain scored an injury-time penalty as Real prolonged their unbeaten run against their rivals to nine years.
"Winning the derby strengthens us to play against Juventus. It's an injection of morale that comes at a good time because it will be a tough trip," Ruud van Nistelrooy told Real television.
Coach Bernd Schuster rested winger Arjen Robben, but midfielders Mahamadou Diarra and playmaker Guti both missed the derby through injury and are doubts.