Conte ignoring Inter distractions ahead of Juve clash

Inter Milan

Antonio Conte says Inter Milan are fully prepared to face Juventus on Sunday, despite the distraction of the match being played being closed doors.

Conte has reinvigorated Inter since taking charge last summer but has had to be patient in recent weeks due to the current coronavirus crisis engulfing the north of Italy.

The issue meant last weekend’s game between the Nerazzurri and Juve was postponed and re-arranged to be played this Sunday instead.

With Juventus top of the table and Inter third, the Derby d’Italia was tipped to be a classic and while there maybe plenty of on-field excitement, it will be a sedate affair off it.

The coronavirus means the game, like all those in Italy until at least April 3, will be played behind closed doors.

Therefore, a somewhat surreal atmosphere is likely but Conte is confident his team will not be put off by the lack of off-field movement in Turin, echoing Friday’s comments by club president Steven Zhang.

The 50-year-old who is looking to end the Biaconeri’s run of eight consecutive Scudetti, having himself started it in 2012, is adamant the uncertain build-up will not hamper his team.

“We are prepared for this game, despite the difficulties, because changing plans and not having matches to play has not been easy,” Conte told Inter TV.

“As I said to the lads, we must do well in these situations to adapt quickly and keep working hard. The players are extraordinary, as they are always ready to sacrifice and raise the bar so that we can play these fixtures that mean a great deal at the top of the table.”