Sport Soccer

Saturday 24 March 2018

Irish boss warns Juventus 'to be careful'

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI believes Juventus will be taking Shamrock Rovers seriously in their Europa League clash at Tallaght Stadium tomorrow evening and has claimed the performances of his international team are a factor.

Ireland performed creditably in their two World Cup qualifying matches with the Italians and while the Hoops side is made up of entirely different personnel, Trapattoni reckons that Juve will be aware that nothing will come easy to them when they visit Dublin.

"There is a doubt," said Trapattoni, who enjoyed great success as manager of the Turin giants and was even linked with a temporary return earlier this year, when asked what the reaction back home was to the unlikely coming together.

"After our team, our national team, they are not sure. Maybe five years ago, ten years ago, they think maybe 'Ireland, Ireland, it's not famous'.

"At the moment, they ask me, or they ask Marco (Tardelli), who is this Shamrock Rovers? I said to be careful."

"Never say never," he continued, "The World Cup showed that nothing is impossible. I cannot say in Ireland that Shamrock Rovers can win because tomorrow it will be in Italy, in all the headlines. But I think it is not sure that Juventus will win."

Trapattoni has a limited knowledge of the League of Ireland and is marginally more familiar with the Hoops' arch rivals Bohemians having watched them in action twice during his tenure.

However, he is fully aware of the situation at Juventus, where new coach Luigi Delneri is beginning a transitional phase which could benefit the League of Ireland side.

"They have changed their coach and they have changed many players," said Trapattoni. "They have two or three or four strong individual players who could win the game. But it's the first moment of the season and in pre-season, there isn't a good condition for all teams.

"In the first game, there are no certainties. You never know what's going to happen. Shamrock is not considered a team they are going to walk over just because they are not known."

Preparations for the big game will crank up a notch today when Juventus land in the capital. They will arrive at Tallaght Stadium for an evening press conference, before a 6.0training session at the match venue.

Michael O'Neill's Rovers side will go through their paces at the 5,800 capacity ground earlier in the day.

Irish Independent

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