Man City vs Juventus Preview
Juventus veteran Alessandro Del Piero expects a tough test against Manchester City in the Europa League.
Del Piero, 35, has vast experience of playing against English sides over the years and he knows City will be fired up for the clash in front of their own fans at Eastlands.
Speaking ahead of a training session tonight, he said: "Manchester City are in excellent shape and it will be very hard for us. It always is when you are in England.
"They have invested heavily and one of the reasons they can be successful is that they have a great squad of players."
Juventus, like City, are in transition with a new coach in Luigi Del Neri, who was appointed in May, and are struggling to get going in Serie A.
Del Piero said: "We have a good base to build on and are at the beginning of a journey. Hopefully we our results will improve as time goes on."
Juventus face a crunch match against Inter Milan on Sunday but Del Neri is thinking only of their Group A meeting with City.
He said: "I am only interested in tomorrow not the following match. We will see then if we have improved.
"A new team always make mistakes. You not only need to fix the problems but also to focus on what you do well."
City defender Micah Richards could come into contention against Juve after a hamstring injury.
Shaun Wright-Phillips is doubtful with a knee problem while Wayne Bridge and Aleksandar Kolarov remain absent.
City manager Roberto Mancini expects Mario Balotelli to return to the squad at the end of next month
Balotelli is sidelined with a knee injury and the striker said he would be out for eight weeks.
However Mancini revealed: "He is in Italy today and his knee is okay. I think he may be ready at the end of October, in four to five weeks."
Veteran midfielder Patrick Vieira is hoping to claim a place in Mancini's team after saying he was "frustrated" at his lack of game time.
Vieira, 34, arrived in January from Inter Milan following a season with Juventus.
He said: "It has been frustrating. Like everyone else I want to play more often and be more involved. I know how strong the team is, especially in the midfield.
"I want to play more than one game a month. I will get my chance, I know that because the season is really long. I want to show the manager he can count on me.
"Every competition is really important because we all want to play. As City have not won a trophy for years lifting one would be good for the club."
Vieira believes City are becoming a team to fear.
He said: "We have beaten Liverpool and Chelsea who are seen to be part of the big four. That just shows how strong we are. There is still a long way to go but we believe in ourselves.
"We know how good we are. Now we have to win games week in, week out. We have to show it on the pitch."