Antonio Conte knows both Juventus and Lazio will be eager to put their European exits behind them when going head-to-head on Monday night. “Our confidence is not shaken.”
The Bianconeri visit the Stadio Olimpico tomorrow evening at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT). Click here for a match preview.
“I don’t think the games against Lazio and Milan are more important than any other. Every match is worth three points,” said the Coach in his Press conference.
He confirmed Giorgio Chiellini, Sebastian Giovinco, Nicolas Anelka, Nicklas Bendtner and Simone Pepe are out of this trip to Rome.
“There is no hierarchy within the squad. I will choose the best possible line-up for this game, so those in the best shape will play. It will be a tough match in a difficult arena. Don’t forget Lazio got as far as we did in Europe, who knocked us out of the Coppa Italia semi-final, so basically we’ve both played more than anyone else this season.
“Milan-Napoli? We always focus on playing our own game without considering what the other teams are doing. That has always been our strength. Those who win write the history books, the others just read them. If I were Walter Mazzarri and Massimiliano Allegri, I'd believe in a comeback. We need to keep winning, but they could also slip up.”
Both clubs were eliminated this week, as Juventus lost 4-0 on aggregate to Bayern Munich in the Champions League and Lazio went out of the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate to Fenerbahce.
“Our objective for this season was to get back into the Champions League and target another Scudetto. I think we are well on the way to achieving those aims.
“Why would the defeats to Bayern have taken away some of our confidence? We knew full well that reaching the quarter-finals was already an achievement. What the club asks of me every year is to qualify for the Champions League and target victory in Italy, so anything more than that is thanks to our hard work.
“I think we are doing very, very well this season, so I don’t see why that should affect our confidence or shake some of our certainties in what we’re doing.”
The newspapers this morning have been filled with talk of a bid for Barcelona striker Alexis Sanchez.
“Talking about the transfer market right now is disrespectful to my players and all the hard work they are putting in for Juventus. I want to focus only on the present.
“We win as a team and lose as a team. I hope people appreciate the extraordinary work my lads are doing.”