TURIN, Italy (AP) — Galatasaray's new coach Roberto Mancini knows that facing Juventus in the Champions League just two days after taking charge of the Turkish team is going to be tough, but is hoping that his Italian background will help.
Mancini was only confirmed as Fatih Terim's replacement on Monday and there could not be many tougher first matches than a trip to Turin to face the two-time Italian champions in Europe's elite club competition.
"It will be quite strange because I met the team yesterday for the first time," Mancini said on Tuesday. "I don't have a magic wand, but we have a good team so I hope we can have a good game. It will be very difficult because we're meeting a great team, which had another great year.
"If I'd have wanted a comfortable game I'd have stayed at home on the couch — which is very comfortable. But this is work and that's whats' good about football. The fact that the first game is a Champions League match and against Juventus is a great thing."
Mancini spent almost his entire playing and managerial career in Italy — with Fiorentina, Lazio and Inter Milan — before joining Manchester City in 2009.
He won three consecutive Serie A titles with Inter and hopes his knowledge of Italian football will go some way to offsetting the unfamiliarity with his new players.
"Obviously it's a handicap that I've only been with the squad a day," the Italian added. "But I think in this case it's a group of players that know each other, that have been playing together for a while, so I'm lucky. And in football luck counts a lot so we'll see what happens. The advantage is that I know Juve well."
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