Antonio Conte is ready for his first official Juventus match, welcoming Parma to the new stadium. “I can't deny it, this is not like any other game.”
Not only is the Coach making his formal debut on the Bianconeri bench, but it is also the first Serie A tie at the new Juventus Arena.
“I can't deny it, this is not like any other game. I was already so emotional on Thursday night during the inauguration ceremony and I'm sure the same will happen on Sunday. I'll be clear-headed, though, let that be known.”
Juve have stuttered throughout the summer with radical changes brought in and were held to a 1-1 draw by Notts County in that inauguration friendly.
“The team has to be ready now. I certainly wasn't happy to only have three-quarters of my squad with me from Thursday because of international duty, but we are prepared for the first game of the Serie A season.
“We're building and need to be competitive as soon as possible. Our final position in the table will be dictated by what we show on the field. We're hungry and motivated, but now comes the time to turn words into action.”
Parma visit Turin in the early kick-off, starting at 11.30am UK time, and have become something of a bête noir.
“The Ducali are a difficult opponent, as they have beaten Juventus in the last three Serie A meetings, so we've got to keep our ears pricked for danger.”
Alessandro Del Piero is likely to start from the bench, though Milos Krasic and Mirko Vucinic are not 100 per cent fit.
“It's important to remember games are won in a minimum of 90 minutes, so those who come off the bench are very important,” continued Conte.
“Let us finish this cliché of players looking to prove a point when they are substitutes, because they are often the decisive figures against a tired opposition defence.
“When choosing my starting XI, I will take into account those who have understood our tactics and philosophy best. Don't forget I've only seen Eljero Elia, Marcelo Estigarribia and Arturo Vidal play twice.
“I will admit choosing the attack will be an enigma. Today's training session will let me speak to the strikers before deciding.”
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