Shamrock Rovers defiant ahead of Juventus tie

The manager of Shamrock Rovers has warned Italian giants Juventus today that they would be no pushover ahead of tomorrow’s Europa League qualifying tie.

Michael O’Neill said there was no fear in the young Dublin squad and it was clear in his mind what needed to be done.

“I think we have a group of players here that are capable of ruffling a few feathers in the Juventus team and who knows what will happen on the night,” Mr O’Neill said.

The Dublin squad, based in Tallaght, landed the glamour tie after beating Israel’s Bnei Yehuda 2-1 on aggregate in Tel Aviv.

It is the second big international clash for the club in a year and one of the biggest European games for an Irish side.

Last July Rovers took on Spanish giants Real Madrid in a friendly game and Mr O’Neill said the clash served them well.

“I think the atmosphere that night helped,” Mr O’Neill said. “Familiarity of having done that will help them to a certain point.

“You obviously respect the opposition, and you respect what they’ve done in the game.

“But it doesn’t over-awe you and obviously affect your own game.”

The Rovers manager said he didn’t think that would happen tomorrow night.

“In my own mind I’m clear about what we need to do,” he said.

“Our preparation has been concentrated on us, looking at the positive side of our games and making the players aware of the positive side of our games and that’s where our focus will be.”

Rovers midfielder Stephen Rice said they were taking on celebrity superstars but the Dublin players had their own game plan.

“We’ve just got to go out and enjoy it,” he said.

“Last year when we played Madrid, it’s like one of those things when you say your never going to get the opportunity to play against these players again.

“Little did we know 12 months later in Tallaght that we were going to have an even bigger game in my view because it’s a competitive game and there’s something to play for.”

Bookmakers William Hill have put the Dublin squad at 8/1 to cause a shock and clinch the game, and 12/1 to be the only team to score.

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