Tuesday October 20 2020
Conte: 'Bastoni on the bench, Sanchez can start'

Inter coach Antonio Conte said Alessandro Bastoni will start on the bench and confirmed Alexis Sanchez is ready to start against Borussia Mönchengladbach.

The Nerazzurri host the Bundesliga side at San Siro tomorrow and Conte revealed Bastoni, who has recovered from coronavirus, needs more time.

“Yesterday he trained, and he will do the same today,” Conte said at a press conference. “He will start on the bench, as he comes from a period of recovery and it takes time to get back in shape.

“One day is not enough. We will do the rest of the evaluations. [Marcelo] Brozovic was tired, we will also see if [Stefano] Sensi is physically ready. We don’t want to risk anything.”

Conte believes Inter are ‘better equipped’ in the Champions League this time around and pointed at the arrival of Arturo Vidal, who he mentioned among the candidates to play behind the forwards.

“It was important to gain experience with the Final in the Europa League last year,” he added. “We have matured, and Arturo brings experience. We are better equipped.

“We are playing with the attacking midfielder because I think this is how the whole team are exalted.

“We adopted this formation at the end of last season too, adapting more players to the role of the attacking midfielder. We have [Nicolò] Barella, [Christian] Eriksen, [Radja] Nainggolan, [Stefano] Sensi and Vidal.

Reports in Spain have claimed Inter are the team to beat in Group B, but the fact that they are labelled favourites in a group with Real Madrid makes Conte smile.

“I don’t know if they actually consider us the favourites, we’re talking about the Spanish champions,” Conte said. “A squad that includes €100m players. Hearing this makes me smile.

“The evaluations must be serious and concentrated to avoid saying nonsense.”

Conte said he feels his recognition in Europe has increased in recent years.

“I feel that I’m getting closer [to international recognition],” he added. “In the last few years, between round of 16, quarter-finals, semi-finals and Final, I feel this.

“Even if it doesn’t represent a problem for me. I can be satisfied, I have a beautiful path that makes me proud.”

The coach confirmed Alexis Sanchez can start the match against Borussia Mönchengladbach tomorrow.

“We were careful in the way we managed him,” he said. “In the match against Milan, we were a bit worried, but everything went well.

“Now, he’s fine and can even start the match."