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Conte, Juve ready for Parma test

SoccerNews in Serie A 13 Jan 2013

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Juventus coach Antonio Conte is confident his side will be refreshed heading into Sunday’s Serie A match against Parma, despite a busy week.

Juve won their Coppa Italia quarter-final against AC Milan on Wednesday, coming from behind to win 2-1 in extra time.

The 120 minutes of football was not ideal for the Serie A table-toppers, particularly given they face a tough task at a resurgent Parma on Sunday.

But Conte – who is predicting a good match between the two sides – believes his players will be ready to go as they attempt to break Parma’s 14-match unbeaten streak at home in the league.

“The 120 minutes we played on Wednesday were definitely very intense,” Conte said.

“Milan didn’t want to lose the competition. It was important for them to progress too. We certainly lost a lot of energy during that game, but we have trained well, so I’m sure that that won’t affect the players much in Parma tomorrow.

“We will be facing a team in great shape tomorrow, they have now had four victories in a row.

“They will want to play a great match, but we want that too, because we want to continue on the track that was interrupted by the defeat to Sampdoria (in Juventus’ last league game). I’m convinced it will be a great match, because Parma play good football.”

Conte also defended his player, Claudio Marchisio, after he made public comments criticising Napoli.

The Juve head coach feels that Napoli should take his comments as a positive though, suggesting that they are now one of the big clubs in Italy.

“As far as the Marchisio debate is concerned – if we want to define it as a debate – I’m sure that Claudio (Marchisio) answered a precise question and that he said he doesn’t like Napoli from a sport and football level,” he said.

“And I’m convinced that when Napoli face us they always give something more. Napoli have become a top team and there’s always that competition between top teams, as there has always been between Inter, Milan and us. From this point of view I think that Napoli should only be happy they have become one of the top teams in Italy and that they have become disagreeable from a sporting point of view.”

Juventus sit five points clear of second-placed Lazio on the Serie A table at the halfway point of the season.

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