City may be guaranteed a place in the final 32 of the Europa League, but Micah Richards says the team travelling to Italy are only thinking of a win.
The Blues could afford to lose in Turin and still progress, but the City and England defender believes the players who start against Juventus will look to show Roberto Mancini they are worthy of a regular starting berth over the festive period and beyond.
“We want to go there to win,” he said. “This game is for players who’ve not really played that often. I’ve been lucky because even though I’ve been in and out of the team, I’ve been playing fairly regularly.
“The last couple of games I’ve been disappointed to be on the bench, but when I’ve been given my chance I’ve been doing alright. I’m a bit like Adam Johnson – a bit disappointed not to be playing but fighting hard for a place.
“I think we have to look at this game and think we can win the group because we may get an easier opponent in the next round as a result. I think we can go into this game without any pressure.
The manager likes to change the team around in Europe so it’s great people can get a look in and I’m hoping to play some part because it should be a great night
Richards, now one of City’s longest-serving players at the grand old age of 22, has 171 appearances under his belt so far for the Blues. Crucially, he’s played 18 European games for City and has the experience of playing in high profile games such as this.
Despite having drawn all five group games so far, Juventus are currently second in Serie A, and Richards is expecting a tough examination from the hosts’ numerous attacking threats.
They had Milos Krasic on the right and he was very good when we played them in Manchester,” he said. “Plus there is Alessandro Del Piero and Giorgio Chiellini at the back.
“I’ll have to keep a close eye on Chiellini, especially at set-pieces. We play zonal marking, but he’ll probably end up running into my area at some point. I’m just happy at the moment because I’m playing well and the team is playing well.”