Conte plays down Juventus’ tag as Scudetto favourites
The Bianconeri go into the new Serie A season as the team to beat having comfortably won last season’s championship.
“It is right that we start the season as favourites because we have won the last two titles, but the favourite doesn’t always win,” he told the press.
“The winners will be who prove to be the strongest on the field of play. Two years ago we were not favourites and we won.
“It will be really hard this year, there are sides who have spent a lot more than Juventus. Other clubs have spent more and you say the gap between us and the rest has grown.”
Juve start their campaign on Saturday evening against Sampdoria at the Stadio Ferraris.
“We lost both games against Sampdoria last term,” he continued. “We will be facing a well prepared side, Delio Rossi is a footballing teacher. We are working on the difficulties we expect to encounter.
“At this stage of the season, all sides can’t be at 100 per cent. In the Super Cup last weekend, 10 of the 11 who started were with us last season, so there was organisation and tactical knowledge.
“That helped, as did the determination of players to win the first trophy of the season.
“The side I picked against Lazio on Sunday was the one which offered me most guarantees. I’ll do the same tomorrow.
“The team and I will miss [Claudio] Marchisio. He is a player who, along with everyone else, has allowed Juventus to win.”
New signing Fernando Llorente is expected to start on the bench, though Conte doesn’t see this as an issue.
“Llorente didn’t play against Lazio, but neither did Sebastian Giovinco and Alessandro Matri. Look at Barcelona where Neymar sat on the bench.
“Only in this country are inexistent controversies created. All of the new players have integrated themselves well and they will give us a helping hand.
“We play and we win and you ask me if I have any plans to change tactics? Why is there that need? I’ll know how to answer that question one day…
“A long adventure starts tomorrow. In two years, Juve have won four out of seven trophies – they are monstrous numbers when you consider that this was the year we had originally planned to try to win the Scudetto again.”