Conte: “A tough match against Lazio, between two teams who want to outdo one another”


The Nerazzurri Coach’s words ahead of tomorrow’s game at the Olimpico

APPIANO GENTILE – Inter are preparing to face Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio, in a top of the table clash on matchday 24 of Serie A TIM. On the eve of the game, Antonio Conte spoke to journalists in the Press Room of the Suning Training Centre, here are his words: “It’s a really tough match, we’re talking about a well-established top-end Serie A team who won the Coppa Italia last year and the Super Cup this year. The team has grown a lot in recent years, holding on to key players and gradually adding more, all that alongside the work that Simone Inzaghi is doing. How would I describe it? It’s a match between two dark horses, I think that’s the best way of describing tomorrow’s game.”

Inter come into the match against the Biancocelesti after success in the #DerbyMilano and a loss against Napoli in the Coppa Italia: “AC Milan and Napoli were two different matches: the game against AC Milan was full throttle and combative and the result was a great game with six goals scored. The one against Napoli was completely different, against a team that implemented a very defensive strategy and got a very good result. We had opportunities to score and some of our final decisions weren’t the best, but at least we created those chances. We’ve reviewed both games, the positives and the negatives. This is another game against a very strong team who are probably a phase ahead of us given they’ve been building a strong group together for a long time, they’re doing a great job.”

A word on Eriksen and Lautaro Martinez: “Eriksen is working with us, he’s starting to understand more and more what kind of a role we want from him, as I said at the start I’ve done something that I had never done before, making him play straight away, both against Fiorentina and then against Udinese. I was forced into this decision but I believe that the responsibility that I gave him was the best thing, because he was able to make an impact in his time on the pitch, he’ll start some of the next few games as I see fit. Despite Lautaro’s young age at just 22, I think that he’s got his head screwed on and knows that rumours count for very little in the grand scheme of things. The players are all focused, they know that their football on the pitch is more important than anything else.”

On the upcoming game at the Olimpico: “Lazio have proved their strengths well, I think that they’ll look to play, just like us. They’ll have their own game plan just like we’ll have ours, we’ll look to exploit their weaknesses and limit their strong points. It’s a game that both sides will want to win so it will be an exciting match and the best team will win. The wings are especially important when you meet teams at your own level, looking to win the battles and outnumber them on the flanks. At the same time, Lazio play with two up top just like us, they also have Milinkovic Savic, a very physical player who often slots into the attack during games. I’m hoping for a good game, especially for those watching the match, that they see two teams playing to outdo one another.”

Finally, the squad and injuries: “It’s been a bit of a strange season because we’ve had six or seven bad injuries, which is a lot to deal with in one season. My hope is to have everyone available because we’re still in a lot of competitions, we still have a lot of games to play and it will be important to have our full squad available.”

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