Fernando Llorente believes Juventus should head into its decisive final Champions League group game without any fear.
The Serie A champions take on Galatasaray at the Turk Telecom Arena knowing that a draw would be enough to take it through to the knockout stages, and Llorente has no doubt that his side will be able to produce the goods in Turkey.
"It's true, we didn't start in the best way," said the Spaniard when asked about Juve's European campaign so far. "But the team is strong, we got back into the race and we have earned the opportunity to advance to the next stage. We have to do what we always do, train hard and play smart, always staying focused and concentrate on what we are doing.
"We should not be afraid and if we give 100 percent on the field we will be able to progress."
The Italian giants are currently in fine form and won their seventh league match on the spin when they beat Bologna 2-0 on Friday.
The Turkish opponents know that only a win is good enough to see them grab second place in the group on Tuesday and even though Antonio Conte's side will be without the influential Andrea Pirlo, Galatasaray boss Roberto Mancini insists the Biaconeri have more than enough strength in depth.
"Pirlo is certainly a fundamental player, the one who sets the tempo," Mancini told Tuttosport. "But it's also true they still have Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba. It's not as if their midfield is in bad shape."
The former Manchester City coach is aware that his side faces an uphill struggle if it wants to stay in the competition beyond Christmas, but he hopes that playing in front of a boisterous home crowd can give his side the edge in the all-or-nothing tie.
"What worries me is that Juve can be happy with a draw and still qualify," he said. "We have the utmost respect for them, as they are one of the best teams in Europe, getting better every year, and it will be tough for us. I think we need to be calm when playing football, not tense or full of doubt.
"What we must first of all do on Tuesday is step on to that pitch aware that we have a chance and can gamble with our chips. We are playing at home, which is an advantage, and anything can happen in a football match."
- Sports & Recreation
- Andrea Pirlo