Monday January 30 2012
Milan super favourites, says Conte

Juventus boss Antonio Conte used his Press conference ahead of the Parma game to label Milan as the “super favourites” for the Scudetto.

The Old Lady actually sit at the top of the standings, one point ahead of the Rossoneri, but the tactician has piled the pressure on his rivals.

“Milan’s ability to win so easily is surprising,” Conte noted after the San Siro giants disposed of Cagliari 3-0 last night.

“Yesterday, with so many absences, they took the points with absolute tranquillity. They have a great champion like Zlatan Ibrahimovic who, at times, gives the sensation that he is Gulliver, a giant.

“They are so impressive that they are the super favourites to win the title. Up until now we are keeping up with them and we hope to keep the championship alive until the very end.

“There are still 18 games to go and there are 54 points on offer, so anything can happen amongst the top six or seven sides.”

Nevertheless, Juventus themselves impressed onlookers with a 2-1 win over third-placed Udinese in arctic conditions.

“We knew for two days that it would snow on Saturday night. We now have the means to predict bad weather.

“Football is beautiful if you are given the chance to express yourself at your best in the best possible conditions.

“We are offering a show and to play on snow or ice is not great. I hope decisions are made in the future to protect the interests of the fans.”

The Bianconeri are next in action on Tuesday when they travel to the Stadio Tardini to face Parma and Conte may make changes.

There are question marks over the use of Stephan Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal after both were criticised for their displays at the weekend.

“Lichtsteiner plays in a role where he has to give a lot,” added Conte. “As a wide player he has to push and cover a fair amount of the pitch and he was playing his third game in seven days.

“As for Arturo, people see his intercepted pass from which Udinese scored, but he worked hard and I liked his overall performance.

“Saying that, we now have our fourth game in 10 days so I’ll have to evaluate things carefully.

“We didn’t have many midweek games at the start, but the adage that you don’t change a winning team doesn’t apply right now.

“Fortunately I’m able to pick from a squad of players who can offer me certain guarantees.”

Returning to Ibrahimovic, Conte was asked how good his Juve side would be with the super Swede in it.

“I’m happy with the players that I have at my disposal,” he responded. “Ibrahimovic is a player who makes the difference, but my players remain the best in the world.”