November 8, 2012
Guidolin targeting Europa
Team Stat Comparison
|Goals for *||1.0||1.7|
|Goals against *||1.7||2.0|
|Last 5 home||L-L-D||W-W-L-L-W|
|Last 5 away||L-L-W||D-W-L-W-L|
|* Goals per match - home matches for home club and away matches for away club|
|Stats: Udinese | Young Boys|
Udinese head coach Francesco Guidolin believes the stage is set for his side to launch a serious assault on the Europa League, with Young Boys coming to town.
The Zebrette failed to stamp their authority on Group A in their opening three matches, only a remarkable 3-2 victory over current leaders Liverpool providing any real cheer for Italian fans on continental evenings.
A 3-1 defeat in Bern last time out, though, acerbated concerns that Guidolin was not taking the Europa League seriously, an accusation he flatly denied today.
Speaking to the Corriere dello Sport, he said: "We are not being snobbish about this competition.
"Liverpool are the favourites in the group but we can certainly compete.
"We need to concentrate, play at a high tempo and stay solid at the back.
"I want us to acquit ourselves well on an international stage and move forward.''
Talismanic striker Antonio Di Natale has been used sparingly on Thursday nights with Guidolin preferring to save the prolific 35-year-old for Serie A games, in which he has scored seven goals this term.
The Udine boss clarified his policy, adding: "If I could, I would play Di Natale all the time.
"He's a very important player for us but he needs to be carefully managed so he can preserve his energy.
"We need to ensure every player makes it through to the end of the season.
"On the other hand, there's the worry that we will do not well (without him).
"If I could just use him for 60 to 65 minutes in every game then I would do that, but unfortunately you cannot really do that either.
"The number of players available to me has narrowed significantly. There is not the means to rotate the squad.
"In an ideal world we would have no injuries.''
Giovanni Pasquale returns from injury to bolster Udinese's defence but Mehdi Benatia and Emmanuel Badu remain sidelined.
Raul Bobadilla is a sure starter for Martin Rueda's Young Boys, however, after the Argentinian forward claimed a decisive hat-trick against Udinese two weeks ago.
Food for thought for the Swiss side is their failure to score on four of their last five European away days.