Friday September 13 2013
Conte waiting on Barzagli and Vucinic

Juventus boss Antonio Conte has yet to decide whether Andrea Barzagli and Mirko Vucinic will start against Inter on Saturday.

The centre-back and striker are doubts for the clash at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza this weekend after recent injury.

“I asked Barzagli to make some sacrifices in the first three games and he, despite not being fully fit, made himself available,” the Coach stated this afternoon.

“He’s been training with us for a few days now, but I need to speak with him to understand how he is.

“It’s the same thing for Vucinic, he suffered a tremendous blow to the knee but he trained yesterday and is at our disposal.”

While the Old Lady won the championship again last season, the Nerazzurri – then bossed by Andrea Stramaccioni – finished in a disappointing ninth place.

But Conte, who led Juve to the title in 2012 after the club had finished seventh in successive seasons, respects the Nerazzurri’s potential.

“Two years ago everyone said we made mistakes in the transfer market, that we were a sixth-placed team at best, but we won,” he added.

“I hope the same thing doesn’t happen this year with Inter, who can look to enjoy an excellent season.

“Inter did very badly last term, but [new boss Walter] Mazzarri has a whole week to work with his players ahead of games. They will suffer less injuries and that is a big advantage.

“Inter didn’t have a bad squad last year, otherwise they wouldn’t have won at the Juventus Stadium. They have a good base.

“It is a fundamental game, especially for them in terms of self-esteem,” the former midfielder continued.

“It’s the same thing that occurred with us in the past again Milan, that win gave us the psychological knowledge that we could compete at high levels. We’ll have to be alert because they can fight for the top of the table.”

There has been friction between Conte and Mazzarri in the past, but he was full of praise for the former Napoli boss today.

“Inter have an excellent squad and a good tactician with Mazzarri, who has proved his worth. I think Inter are in the best hands with Mazzarri in charge.

“We know how Inter play and we’ll have to be aware of their counter attacks, especially Fredy Guarin who can split the team into two, and their wide players, as well as Ricky Alvarez and Rodrigo Palacio.

“Would I boss Inter? I’m happy here and I still have another year on my contract.”

Conte was also asked about summer signing Fernando Llorente, the forward who has yet to start an official game for the club.

“My attackers are all on the same level, then it will be up to me to decide who plays,” he explained.

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