Antonio Conte is keeping Juventus on their toes ahead of the first Derby di Piemonte in 55 years against Novara.
“A victory tomorrow would be very important for us, but we have great respect for Novara, who are doing very well,” said the Coach in his press conference.
“I know them well, having faced Novara last season in Serie B when I was in charge of Siena. They want to achieve something special and it’s up to us to ensure that doesn’t happen. Novara deserve to be in Serie A.”
Conte has to reshuffle, as Arturo Vidal and Leonardo Bonucci are suspended, joining the injured Mirko Vucinic in the stands. There are reports Paolo De Ceglie could take left-back, returning Giorgio Chiellini to the centre, with Alessandro Del Piero and Emanuele Giaccherini stepping in.
“It is the first time we have to do without three first team players and we tested out a few options. I am relaxed, because whoever is called upon to do their duty will give their all to prove themselves. This is what I expect from my players, especially those who are further down the pecking order, as they know that order is easily changed.”
Juve are joint top of the table with Udinese, who face a very tough test against Lazio this weekend, so could well be the lone leaders by Sunday evening.
“We mustn’t look at the table, even if we are doing extraordinary things. We want to end the year knowing our work has gone beyond the rosiest expectations, but the important thing is not how you start. It’s how you finish.”
Conte was also asked about reports Juventus are challenging Milan and Paris Saint-Germain for Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez.
“Others within the club take care of the transfer market. I have many responsibilities.”