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Vieira expects warm welcome on Highbury return

Written by: Staff
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MILAN, Mar 27 (Reuters) Juventus midfielder Patrick Vieira says he expects a friendly welcome from Arsenal fans when he returns to Highbury to face his old club in tomorrow's Champions League quarter-final, first-leg tie.

The French international, who won three Premier League titles and four FA Cups in a nine-year career with Arsenal, moved to the Italian champions last year and says his first return back to his old ground will be an emotional occasion.

''When you play for a team for nine years you can't not be emotional. I enjoyed many good moments in that stadium,'' Vieira told Italian television programme Domenica Sportiva.

''I expect to get a warm welcome from the fans,'' he added.

Vieira compared his former club's style of football to that of Juve's Italian rivals AC Milan, who trail Juventus by eight points in Serie A.

''In terms of the way they play, if I had to compare Arsenal to an Italian team, I would compare them to Milan,'' said the Frenchman.

''They like to play football and have some great individual players. Their play is more based on technique than physique....but we have what is needed to beat them,'' he said.

Vieira described Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger as a great coach although he noted a difference in style between his former boss and his current employer -- Juve coach Fabio Capello.

''He (Wenger) is more reserved, while the other is more expressive but they have the same passion and the same vision of football,'' said Vieira.

The 29-year-old midfielder also rejected the suggestion that he might be tempted to leave Juventus if Capello decided to take on a new challenge elsewhere.

''If he goes it won't change anything for me. I like it here,'' he said.

REUTERS PM ND1424

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