Saturday, September 26, 2020

Cuadrado braced for Serie A title battle with Inter

SoccerNews in Serie A 29 Sep 2019

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Juan Cuadrado expects Antonio Conte’s fast-starting Inter to pose a genuine Serie A title threat to Juventus this season.

Inter overcame Alexis Sanchez’s red card to beat Sampdoria 3-1 on Saturday and extend their winning start to six matches.

Juve earlier saw off SPAL 2-0 in Turin but remain two points adrift of the leaders ahead of next Sunday’s crucial top-of-the-table clash at San Siro.

Colombia international Cuadrado has seen enough from the Nerazzurri to know his team will not be allowed to cruise to another Scudetto.

“Inter are a great team,” Cuadrado told Sky Sport Italia.

“They have everything [required] to be up there. We have to keep fighting to stay ahead. It will be a great battle next Sunday and we hope to be at 100 per cent.”

Cuadrado, 31, completed 90 minutes at right-back against SPAL, plugging a defensive gap following injuries to Danilo and Mattia De Sciglio.

Though naturally a winger, he will likely have to continue at the back until after the international break.

Cuadrado believes the recently retired Andrea Barzagli’s return to the club in a technical coaching role can help hone the defensive side of his game.

“I’ve always played on the wing but I’m at the coach’s disposal to give everything I can,” the former Fiorentina and Chelsea man said.

“Even more so in this moment of emergency, I will try to give my best and do the defensive phase well.

“I’ve already talked with Barzagli about it. His experience will surely help.”

Before the Inter match, Juve must negotiate a Champions League meeting versus Bayer Leverkusen on Tuesday.

Maurizio Sarri’s men squandered a two-goal lead in drawing 2-2 at Atletico Madrid in their Group D opener.

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