Salzburg clash is crucial - Pepe

BY foxsports • November 3, 2010

Both teams head into the game at Turin's Stadio Olimpico searching for their first win in the competition after three failed attempts. The Italians sit third in the pool after three straight draws while Salzburg are bottom of the standings with one point collected so far. Salzburg held Juve to a 1-1 draw when the two sides met last month in Austria but Pepe is aware anything less than a win this time around would seriously harm their chances of reaching the knockout stage. "This is a decisive match, crucial to our hopes of qualification," said Pepe. "It is undoubtedly a match within our reach and I'm sure our fans will help us." Luigi Del Neri's Juve head into the fixture inspired by Saturday's 2-1 victory at AC Milan which lifted them to fourth in Serie A. "Saturday's win has given us another boost in confidence," said Pepe. "But we now need to show that form in Europe. "So far we have taken three draws but we need a win in order to progress in the Europa League." Del Neri will be forced to make some changes to his starting XI with his team decimated by injuries. Winger Jorge Martinez will be sidelined until the new year with a foot injury while full-back Paolo De Ceglie is out for several months with a knee problem. Goalkeeper Alex Manninger is also sidelined for a month with an ankle injury. "We know we have so many players out injured," said Pepe. "But I'm sure whoever goes out on the pitch will do a good job." Salzburg were held to a 1-1 draw by Rapid Vienna at the weekend and lie fifth in the Austrian Bundesliga. Salzburg coach Huub Stevens expects a difficult encounter in Turin, saying: "Juve would love to win, and almost need to win if they are to qualify. "They need to beat us and will play to do so. "They are a top-class team and we need to be at our absolute best to take anything back. "If we take a point in Turin that is very good, but it is too little for us."