Conte not taking Serie A title race for granted

Juventus' rivals may be close to admitting defeat in the race for the Serie A title but Bianconeri head coach Antonio Conte knows anything can happen.

Mirko Vucinic, Juventus

Walter Mazzarri's Napoli and Massimiliano Allegri's AC Milan look suitably adrift in second and third place respectively but, ahead of Friday night's trip to Lazio, Conte tried to put things in perspective.

He told "History teaches us that anything's still possible. If I was Mazzarri or Allegri I would still believe in the comeback.

"We approach the Lazio game on the back of four consecutive wins, gained at difficult places like Bologna or against Inter Milan at the San Siro.

"We still have some difficult games to play and we need to stay alert because we're the only ones who can slip up, not the chasing pack."

Lazio were expected to push Juve all the way for the Scudetto but the capital club have drifted out to sixth after winning only two of their last 11 league games.

Nevertheless, the Biancocelesti have frustrated tomorrow's visitors in three meetings this season - a goalless draw in Turin preceding Juve's exit from the two-legged Coppa Italia semi-finals.

"We still haven't beaten them this season?" Conte added. "There's always a first time for everything.

"Lazio, along with ourselves, are the team who have gone furthest in Europe and played the entire Coppa Italia campaign. It will be a tough game at a difficult venue."

Defender Giorgio Chiellini and forward Sebastian Giovinco are injured while midfielder Simone Pepe as well as strikers Nicklas Bendtner and Nicolas Anelka are working their way back to full fitness.

Conte added: "There's no pecking order as far as I'm concerned. The players in the best condition and form will be in the starting line-up."

Lazio also have several key players unavailable.

Defenders Giuseppe Biava and Stefan Radu are suspended alongside midfielder Senad Lulic, with Abdoulay Konko, Pereirinha, Andre Dias and Cristian Brocchi all nursing injuries.

Vladimir Petkovic's Lazio were briefly the last Italian club standing on the continent until Fenerbahce completed a 3-1 aggregate win in the quarter-finals of the Europa League.

The Bosnian coach told La Repubblica: "The team is doing well and I congratulated the boys anyway because they always give 100 per cent.

"But we will need 150 per cent against Juve. They are the best team in the league and we will need a much bigger effort.

"They have pretty much won the Scudetto but football teaches you that there are no unbeatable teams."

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