NEWS
Tuesday March 5 2013
Conte: Celtic tie not over yet

Antonio Conte is refusing to underestimate the Champions League game against Celtic despite Juventus’ 3-0 first leg advantage.

The Old Lady have one foot in the last eight of the competition, but the tactician is keen to underline that the tie is not over.

“Tomorrow’s game is important,” he noted. “We still have to play 90 minutes against a proud side who will want to recover the score from the first leg.

“It will be an important test for everyone – the players, me and the club. Celtic are a side who never give up. We need full concentration tomorrow.

“The result of the first game means we have a serious chance of qualification, but football can surprise if you don’t face a game in the right way.”

The advantage has seen suggestions that Conte could rest a few players – especially Stephan Lichtsteiner, Claudio Marchisio and Arturo Vidal who are a booking away from suspension.

“Those players who are on a yellow card will still be on a yellow card after tomorrow’s game too,” he continued.

“I’ll have to evaluate things. Some people will play, while others could be rested. It depends on who else is available.”

Juventus were clinical in Glasgow, but Celtic boss Neil Lennon felt that the Italian side’s ‘grappling tactics’ at set-pieces should have been punished by the referee.

“At every corner, there is a Celtic player blocking the goalkeeper. That is systematically a foul as the rulebook says so.

“If Lennon is moaning about referees then he’s ready to work in Italy as everyone does that here. Joking aside, Celtic are doing really well and he is a prepared tactician.”

Juventus will go into the game after collecting a 1-1 draw at second-placed Napoli where they faced a hostile atmosphere.

“We arrived at the stadium in a hardly serene state given that we were escorted by the police and our bus had windows smashed. The team, though, were not intimidated and that didn’t affect our quality.”

Conte was also questioned on suggestions that he could be targeted by Chelsea and Real Madrid at the end of the season.

“It’s obvious that certain rumours are pleasing to hear. We are doing well at home and abroad. When you work well, it is normal to be noticed.”

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