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Conte hoping Juve can compete with Madrid

22 October 2013, 18:35

Madrid - Juventus coach Antonio Conte has encouraged his players to be inspired by the challenge of facing Real Madrid as they attempt to kickstart their stuttering Champions League campaign at the Santiago Bernabeu on Wednesday.

The Italian champions have taken just two points from their opening two games in Group B against FC Copenhagen and Galatasaray.

Madrid, by contrast, have had no such problems in dispatching the Danish and Turkish champions, scoring 10 goals in the process.

And despite also throwing away a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 to Fiorentina on Sunday, Conte is hoping his side will rise to the occasion.

"We are aware of the team that is facing us tomorrow, a team that can spend millions in buying new players and has the freedom of selling players for 50 million euros," he said on Tuesday.

"That says a lot about the players at Real Madrid, but we shouldn't be afraid of them. The occasion should stimulate us.

"The disappointment until today was the draw against Galatasaray.

"It was a bitter result and put us in this position. Tomorrow will be a good and difficult match. We know we will suffer, but it will be a match that will tell us where we are tactically and mentally."

Conte added that he expects to have Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal available and intimated that he could even switch from his usual 3-5-2 formation to a back four to combat Madrid's threat in wide areas.

However, despite his side's sluggish start to the campaign, he doesn't believe a defeat on Wednesday would be a death knell for their European hopes this season.

"Tomorrow's result will not say anything about what will happen in the group, there are still three games left.

"We are playing a team that has scored 10 goals in two matches. We know we are playing against a team of champions, but, on our side, we want to prove we can compete at this level and play a good game.

"I would emphasise, tomorrow's result will not be final."

Defender Giorgio Chiellini accepted that the Bianconeri have committed an uncharacteristic number of errors at the back this season, particularly in Sunday's reversal against Fiorentina.

However, the Italian international is hoping to put that disappointment behind them when they face a Madrid frontline that has been rampant so far in the competition.

"We always try to improve ourselves and not let any mistake go unmended," he said.

"On Sunday there were 15 minutes that were unbelievable. It is true this season that there have been a number of individual mistakes which shouldn't happen in a team like ours.

"We are working on it daily and we are sure we can now move forward."




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