Antonio Conte insists Sunday’s encounter between Juventus and Palermo is “like a World Cup Final.”
The Bianconeri lost the Serie A top spot when their game with Napoli was postponed due to flooding, which also means they have not played for three weeks.
“Tomorrow it’ll be 22 days since the last time we stepped on to the pitch,” noted the Coach in his Press conference.
“It is inevitable there will be some question marks over how we’ll perform. We started working together again on Thursday and tried to throw the internationals back into the Serie A atmosphere, because after 10-12 days away it’s easy to pick up a different rhythm.”
Arturo Vidal returned early from international duty with Chile, as he was sent home for missing the curfew while out drinking with some of his teammates.
“It was a mistake to turn up late, but I have to say it surprised me, because Arturo has always behaved in a very professional manner here. He showed maturity in apologising. He is young and must use this negative experience.”
Conte certainly cannot be accused of taking Sunday’s clash with Palermo lightly, especially as it begins a run of games against Lazio and Napoli.
“We have to take it one match at a time, trying to get as many points as possible. Right now there is the challenge with Palermo and for us it has to be worth as much as a World Cup Final.
“There are three very important points at stake and let’s not forget Palermo have conquered Turin for three years running. We must prove things have changed.
“All the players have now recovered from injury, so all my decisions will be exclusively technical and tactical.”