Football News

UEFA Champions League preview: Juventus v Celtic

Created on 06 Mar., 2013 12:04 AM GMT

Juventus will take a commanding 3-0 lead into the second leg of their Champions League last 16-clash with Celtic on Wednesday.

The Scottish giants were on the end of a football lesson at Celtic Park with late Claudio Marchisio and Mirko Vucinic strikes leaving Celtic needing a miracle to turn the tie around.

Neil Lennon's side will feel a sense of injustice given they enjoyed quality possession for large parts of the match after Alessandro Matri's third-minute strike put the Italian champions ahead.

It was a tale of missed opportunities for the Scottish side and a classic case of razor sharp counter-attacking from Juventus at the other end.

Anthony Stokes could be in line for a starting berth at the top of the Celtic attack after his winner against St Mirren secured his team a place in the last four of the Scottish Cup.

Celtic held firm to win 2-1 and with their virtually unassailable 14-point lead at the top of the SPL, there will be a clear directive to throw everything at Juventus.

Antonio Conte's side remain on top of Serie A after a 1-1 draw with nearest challengers Napoli and their six-point gap at the summit will allow them some breathing space for Celtic's visit.

Lennon will no doubt highlight his side's monumental 2-1 win over Barcelona during the group stages of this year's competition as evidence that anything is possible.

Nevertheless, Juventus are often an impenetrable force at home, conceding only eight goals in 14 league games in front of their own fans this season.

Celtic skipper Scott Brown is out with a thigh injury, as is right-back Mikael Lustig (bone bruising).

Nicolas Anelka, Martin Caceres and Paolo De Ceglie missed for Juventus against Napoli and will be racing the clock to be fit.

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