Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon insists he will not be
intimidated by a 60,000 sell-out Celtic Park on Tuesday night.
The 35-year-old Italian international was on the bench in
October 2001, when Juventus lost 4-3 to the Hoops at Parkhead in a
dramatic Champions League qualifier.
That was not his first experience of a Glasgow football crowd,
having played for Parma against Rangers in a UEFA Cup match at
Ibrox in 1998, which ended in a 1-1 draw, and again in a Champions
League qualifier the following year when the Light Blues won
However, while Celtic Park gears up for another great European
night when the Old Lady of Italy visits for the first leg of the
Champions League last-16 clash, Buffon refused to buy into the
clich? of the crowd being the 12th man.
He said: “I have played here (Glasgow) two or three times with
Parma and Juventus although the last time 10 years ago I was on the
“It was the last match in the group and we had already
“The atmosphere is very British in many ways but as far as I can
remember, no fan has ever scored a goal.
“Certainly the crowd can help Celtic but only to a certain
“The opponents can’t get carried away with this and must focus
on their own game.
“The most hostile atmospheres I have ever played in, I would
probably have to say is Turkey, at Fenerbahce and Galatasaray.
“Of course, here, at both Celtic and Rangers, they have stadiums
that when full have an excellent atmosphere, we already know this
and we respect this very much.”
Buffon, though, does not believe that keeping a clean sheet will
guarantee a Juventus a safe passage into the quarter-finals.
He said: “If I don’t concede a goal tomorrow night then we can
be sure that we will at least get a draw which will be something
that would be very good to build on for the second-leg, but only to
a certain extent.
“It’s not a case of us going out to attack and Celtic going out
to defend, both teams will play to their strengths to try to win
“It wouldn’t be categorical that we would be going through if I
don’t concede a goal tomorrow but it would certainly be a good
Manager Antonio Conte admits he was bemused by the commotion
surrounding Juventus’ decision to train at Rangers’ Murray Park
training complex this morning.
“It was only really through the Italian press that I learned
that there was such surprise and astonishment here in Scotland that
we had used Rangers training pitch,” he said.
“I have to say I found some of the criticisms rather strange.
The choice was a purely technical one.
“The clubs were able to reach this agreement. We needed a
training pitch with two goalposts and as far as I’m concerned
Scunthorpe winger Andy Barcham will return to contention for his
side’s third successive home match.
Barcham sustained a thigh injury in the recent victory over
Portsmouth and missed the weekend win over Crawley, but has
returned to full training and is hoping to make the starting
New signing Eddie Nolan, an unused substitute at the weekend
after returning to Glanford Park on non-contract terms, could play
some part against Carlisle, while centre-half David Mirfin is still
pressing for a recall.
Manager Brian Laws, who has no new injury or suspension
problems, must decide whether to recall fit-again midfielder Josh
Walker (ankle) to the starting line-up.
Right-back Christian Ribeiro is back with the first-team squad
after recovering from a hamstring injury and midfielder Damien
Mozika is close to a return to full training following a similar
Carlisle manager Greg Abbott is unlikely to tinker with a
Abbott has no new injury or suspension problems following his
side’s home win over Stevenage on Saturday, which was the
Cumbrians’ third win in four league matches.
Abbott was dealt a blow over the weekend with confirmation
defender Chris Chantler has been ruled out for the rest of the
season following a persistent ankle problem, so winger Matty Robson
will continue at left-back.
Andy Welsh recently returned to the side to fill the gap left by
Robson’s switch and is hoping to make his fourth successive
Striker Rory Loy marked his first home appearance in over a year
due to a broken leg with a goal against Stevenage and is likely to
resume alongside Lee Miller, while central defenders Peter Murphy
and Mike Edwards, on the bench in recent weeks, are both pushing