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Conte calls on Juve to pounce

Antonio Conte has urged his Juventus players to apply more pressure on Serie A leaders Milan by defeating Napoli on Sunday,

Second-placed Juve, undefeated from 29 matches this campaign, can reduce the gap on Milan to two points with victory at Juventus Arena

Conte says his side must remain within striking distance of Milan, who were held to a 1-1 draw away to Catania on Saturday.

“To win tomorrow will surely mean securing the second place in the league, because we will be 14 points clear of Napoli and the gap with the other teams would remain the same,” Conte said.

“Let’s not forget that to get to the Champions League from the main door without the preliminary phase would be extraordinary for us, but we also need to keep our eyes open and try to take advantage if Milan will make a false move.”

Despite their extraordinary unbeaten run in the league this term, Juve have fallen behind Milan in the title race after a spate of mid-season draws cost Conte’s men top place.

And the Italian manager believes Milan are primed to defend their league crown, noting their squad depth as a key strength during the tail end of the season.

“I always say that the season is in Milan’s hands, it’s up to them to win it or lose it,” Conte said.

“I repeat, they’re the only team in Italy with such a big squad, they are able to put on the pitch a very competitive team with great champions even with 10 or 11 players injured.

“It’s pointless to hide that, we don’t have that squad, nor do Napoli. Maybe Inter could have so many players at their disposal, but they’re out of the fight for the Scudetto.

“Udinese, Lazio and Juventus don’t have such a squad at their disposal.”

Sat 31 March, 2012
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