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Italian job for Gomes

Posted on 23 October 2008  - 12:00

Heurelho Gomes has first-hand experience of Italian teams in European competition and knows any reward against high-flying Udinese will be hard-earned tonight.

Italian job for Gomes

Heurelho Gomes has first-hand experience of Italian teams in European competition and knows any reward against high-flying Udinese will be hard-earned tonight.

We face the team currently second behind Lazio in Serie A in the first of our four group matches in the UEFA Cup at the Stadio Friuli, kicking off at 6.10pm UK time.

Udinese qualifed by finishing seventh after a bright start to last season's campaign and they've repeated the trick this time around with five wins in their opening seven league fixtures.

Gomes faced Inter and AC Milan in his time at PSV including a two-legged semi-final in the Champions League against AC in 2005 - the Italians came out on top before losing to Liverpool in the final.

"Italian teams always have good organisation and every time I've played an Italian team it has been a very difficult game," reasoned the Brazilian goalkeeper. "I expect the same from Udinese.

"It is harder for us in Italy, their fans will be behind them and Italian teams like big European games like this.

"Udinese are good team, I've watched them on television and they have some quality players, a strong attack and they don't give away too much.

"For us, I think a clean sheet is vital and hopefully we can score the one goal."

Gomes stood up to a real test of character at Stoke on Sunday.

Feeling the pain of a rib injury, the keeper continued to come out for everything as Stoke pummelled us aerially via Rory Delap's long throws. Unfortunately, his heroics weren't enough in a 2-1 defeat.

"I feel much better now," beamed the popular Gomes after Wednesday night's training session at the Stadio Friuli.

"I've never come up against anything like that before, a difficult game, my first time against Stoke. The throws came in like shots!

"I had to forget my injury and it was all about helping my team. That was most important.

"The final minute of the first half I felt in pain, it was a difficult moment for me but that has gone and now concentrating on this game is most important. I'm fine now."