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Is a title challenge possible for Man Utd?

Manchester United
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By ESPN Staff

Del Piero calls for response

Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero has urged his team-mates to forget about their poor start to the year and concentrate on beat Catania in the Coppa Italia.

The Bianconceri go into their last-16 clash at home to the Sicilian outfit on the back of two consecutive defeats. They crashed to a 4-1 defeat to Parma in their first game of 2011 before losing 3-0 at Napoli on Sunday to drop to sixth in Serie A.

''We have to come out of this situation as soon as possible and not be affected by pessimism and negativity,'' said Del Piero. ''The year has only just begun and there are many games left to play.

''We have to concentrate on what we have to do rather than on what we have not done and focus on our Coppa Italia match against Catania and in Sunday's game against Bari.''

Juve coach Luigi Del Neri will be without striker Amauri for Thursday's game in Turin with the player fracturing his nose at the weekend. Luca Toni and Simone Pepe sustained minor knocks against Napoli and are doubtful for the encounter.

Catania also head into the game at the Olympic Stadium on the back of two straight losses.

The Sicilians went down 4-2 at Roma before suffering a 2-1 defeat against Inter Milan. The losses left them 16th in the standings, three points clear of the drop zone.

''Our main priority this season is to avoid the drop,'' said Catania coach Marco Giampaolo. ''But we will try to honour the Coppa Italia and play well against Juventus.

''We played well against Inter and although we accept the defeat, we didn't deserve to lose.''

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