Antonio Conte sees tomorrow’s Scudetto showdown between Lazio and Inter as “a game between two outsiders who are ready to play their football. May the best team win.”
It kicks off on Sunday at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.
“This is certainly a difficult game. Lazio are a consolidated reality in Italian football, they won the Coppa Italia last season and the Italian Supercup this time,” said Conte in his press conference.
“They reinforced and kept their strongest players. Last, but not least, Simone Inzaghi has done excellent work, so their growth has been inevitable. Planning, vision and patience have paid off.”
Despite spending vastly more than their opponents and sitting with just one more point in the table, Conte maintains this is not an uneven Scudetto battle.
“I’d call it a game between two outsiders. I think that is the best definition. Lazio are coming off such shows of strength that they’ll inevitably go for the win, as will we. There will be a strategy on each side, trying to limit defects and highlight strengths.
“This is a very even game with both teams ready to play their football. Let the best team win.”
The two coaches share a love of the three-man defence and there is the danger they could cancel each other out, or turn it into a series of personal duels.
“The wings are important, especially when the two tactical systems are similar. Lazio also use two strikers with Sergej Milinkovic-Savic often pushing up.
“I hope it’ll be a very entertaining match, above all for those watching. These are two teams who will try to out-play each other, and may the best team win.”
Inter’s version of Milinkovic-Savic would perhaps be Christian Eriksen, so is the former Tottenham Hotspur man ready to start tomorrow?
“He is working with us, understanding more the situations we want from him,” continued Conte. “I would never have rushed him in so quickly without the emergency situation, so it’s natural his performances weren’t great, but we’ll see him from the start when I feel it is opportune to do so.”
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