Defiant Conte has Bayern in sights
published : 2 Apr 2013 at 02:49
Juventus may be outsiders but will give Bayern Munich a run for their money in Tuesday's Champions League showdown in Munich, coach Antonio Conte promised.
Juventus coach Antonio Conte (R) shouts from the sidelines during a Serie A match in Milan on March 30, 2013. Juventus will give Bayern Munich a run for their money in Tuesday's Champions League showdown in Munich, Conte has promised.
Bayern are on the verge of a 23rd Bundesliga title after slaughtering Hamburg 9-2 on Saturday but Juve themselves have a nine-point lead in Serie A and Conte says his men pack a punch.
"We are outsiders going up against one of the best teams in Europe, but we're not coming here as victims," said Conte, who insisted Juve would enjoy the moment.
"We are here to play our football with our philosophy. Playing at this level is a dream and sometimes dreams come true."
Bayern have been steamrollering domestic opposition all season but Juventus were the side who put out Champions League holders Chelsea, so Conte insists they have nothing to be afraid of.
"We are up against a side which is one of the favourites for a place in the final, along with Barcelona and Real Madrid. But we did not get here by accident. We deserve to be in the quarter-finals -- we have prepared well, we have studied Bayern and determined a few weaknesses," said Conte.
He admitted that the Italians might opt to stiffen their midfield with an extra man but "what is important is not to betray our style and our mentality. Above all we must be tactically disciplined. Italian teams traditionally adopt this style -- but I hope we will offer still more."
Looking back to last season's final when Chelsea stunned Bayern on penalties in their own Munich backyard, despite the Bavarians having the bulk of possession, Conte noted that this season "we turned in two very good matches against Chelsea" in the group stage.
"But runners-up Bayern are even stronger. It is great to see them develop, they are playing as more of a team. In the Bundesliga they are 20 points clear of (reigning champions) Borussia Dortmund, which shows how strong they are.
"They have players of great quality. We are champing at the bit to measure ourselves against them -- they are a club which sets us an example."