NEWS
Saturday February 23 2013
Conte: 'First of 13 World Cup Finals'

Antonio Conte welcomes back Giorgio Chiellini, warns Juventus-Siena is “the first of 13 World Cup Finals” and berates the fans for treating football “like theatre.”

The Bianconeri suffered a post-Champions League dip with last week’s 1-0 defeat to Roma, cutting their lead at the top of the Serie A table to four points.

“Martin Caceres will not recover in time, while Arturo Vidal’s sprained right ankle will have to be evaluated today,” explained the Coach in his Press conference.

“Chiellini trained with us all week and he will be on the bench. Mirko Vucinic? He’s fine.”

Conte was asked whether he’ll rotate the squad on Sunday, particularly as Andrea Barzagli, Andrea Pirlo, Paolo De Ceglie and Alessandro Matri are a booking away from missing next Friday’s Napoli-Juventus showdown.

“There are 13 games to go. They must be 13 World Cup Finals because dropping points anywhere can be negative.

“Right now, Siena has to be the game of our lives, because they are in great shape. Over the last five rounds they have beaten Inter and Lazio, conceding only three goals. It’s a very, very difficult test.

“If someone thinks it’s going to be a walk in the park, then they’re really not listening to me. I hope the Juventus Stadium crowd understands we need everyone to clear their throats and start pushing us forward the way they did last season.

“This year some of the fans sat and watched the game as if they were at the theatre. That really did not sit well with me. From tomorrow the supporters must give the team a hand, because this is a tough match.

“I am not interested in players on a yellow card, as I pay more attention to their physical fitness. Napoli come later, Siena are still worth three points and will make us suffer.”

Conte was in the stands at San Siro cheering on Milan for their Champions League 2-0 victory over Barcelona.

“At the start of the season I said Serie A had lost many great players due to the economic crisis, but that put the pressure on us Coaches to make up for it with ideas and hard work. Serie A is competitive and the Champions League proved that.

“I compliment Massimiliano Allegri on the perfect performance, but Juve, Lazio and Inter also did great things in Europe. In Italy there is great tactical organisation and any of the teams give you trouble. For example, tomorrow Siena will be well-drilled, enthusiastic and organised.”

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