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Brady can't see any way back for the Bhoys in Turin

LIAM BRADY was once part of a pretty handy Juventus side which needed a big performance in Turin to get past Celtic and into the next round of the old European Cup.

But despite some divided loyalties ahead of tonight's meeting of the two clubs in Italy – Brady of course played for Juve and managed Celtic a decade later – the Dubliner cannot see anything but another Italian win tonight.

But Brady feels that manager Neil Lennon deserves credit for getting the Scottish side this far in the competition.

"I think for Celtic to get this far was an amazing achievement. To get out of such a hard group was a brilliant thing to do; to come out of a group that had Barcelona, Benfica and Spartak Moscow was something to be proud of," Brady told the Herald.

"If you look at the budget that Neil Lennon is working off compared to the other clubs, he has shown some real tactical nous to get them this far.

"And they can be proud of the fact that they beat Barcelona, maybe that was the start of Barcelona's dip in form," he added with a grin.

Brady also smiles when he looks back on those battles with Celtic three decades ago. Back in the 1981/82 season, Brady was firmly ensconced in a Juve side, under Giovanni Trapattoni, who came into the European Cup campaign eager to make up for a Euro disappointment the previous season (Brady's first in Italy) when Juve were knocked out of the UEFA Cup by a Zbigniew Boniek-inspired Polish side, Widzew Lodz.

And in the first round, Juve were drawn against Celtic, an occasion with an Irish tint as Packie Bonner was in goal for the Bhoys while Brady made his first trip back to Britain for a competitive game since leaving Arsenal in the summer of 1980.

"It was a great occasion, going back to Britain and going to play Celtic at Parkhead," says Brady.

"There were a few good battles around that time. Juve played Aston Villa the next year, not long after Villa had won the European Cup.

"It was a different era to now, you only had the champions of each country involved so it was a big deal for Juve to go and play the Champions of England and then Scotland in the space of two seasons.

"I had played against Celtic in friendlies a couple of times but with the European Cup, the atmosphere was something else.

"I got a great reception from the crowd there. It was a different kind of reception when I played in Glasgow again, when I played for Inter Milan against Rangers (1984), that was another kind of welcome, I can tell you," he joked.

But there was no joking on the park as Bonner came out on top in the first battle of the Irish stars as Celtic won the home leg 1-0, Murdo McCleod the scorer, a result which put pressure on Trapattoni and his star-studded team for the second leg, which Juve duly won 2-0.

"The Celtic-Juve game that time was something else, we lost 1-0 in Parkhead but beat them 2-0 in Turin.

"It was a very close tie but I can't see tonight being like that, I can't see it being that close," Brady admits.

"A bit like the Arsenal-Bayern tie, it's very hard to see it coming off and I can't see Celtic doing it."

Even with the comfort of a 3-0 lead from the away leg, Brady believes that Juve won't relax to the extent that they'll allow Celtic a foothold in the game.

"The Italians are naturally cautious, so Juve won't be tactically naïve tonight and they won't have any nerves and I can see them going through comfortably," he added.


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