Conte turns focus back home

A preview of this weekend's action in Italy's Serie A, including Juventus' bid to bounce back.

Last Updated: 12/12/13 at 16:18 Post Comment

Conte: Can now focus on Serie A

Conte: Can now focus on Serie A

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A preview of this weekend's action in Italy's Serie A.

Juventus coach Antonio Conte feels his team must put their Champions League exit out of their minds immediately if they are to do well in Serie A this season.

The Italians lost 1-0 at Galatasaray on Wednesday in a snow-affected match - which had been abandoned the previous day - to crash out of the competition in the group stages and will instead have to settle for Europa League football in the new year.

"We have to dive back into Serie A and this disappointment has to spur us on domestically," Conte said.

"We have another two games before the Christmas break and will then start to think about the Europa League.

" We will try to do our best, just as we wanted to do our best in the Champions League.

"With a decent pitch (and not one affected by snow), I am sure we would have played our game.

"We could not have predicted these (adverse weather) circumstances so in my view our exit is unfair, but we also made life difficult for ourselves.

"Our mistake was to get to the last group game having all to play for."

Juve are riding a seven-match winning streak in Italy and host Sassuolo on Sunday.

Conte's side lead the Serie A standings by three points over Roma, who will welcome back captain Francesco Totti for Monday's showdown at AC Milan.

Totti has been out of action since October with a hamstring injury.

The Giallorossi beat Fiorentina 2-1 last time out to achieve a club record of 15 consecutive games without defeat.

Milan, meanwhile, go into the match as the only Italian team still alive in the Champions League after holding Ajax to a goalless draw in midweek.

Third-place Napoli host Inter Milan on Sunday night on the back of a 2-0 triumph over Arsenal in midweek.

However, the result was not enough to see the Naples side progress to the knockout round of the Champions League and Europa League football awaits the azzurri next year.

Fiorentina welcome Bologna to Tuscany on Sunday looking to bounce back from last weekend's defeat to Roma.

Another loss could see Hellas Verona leapfrog Fiorentina into fifth place.

Hellas are two points adrift of the Viola and travel to Sicily this weekend to face bottom-side Catania.

Cagliari lock horns with Parma at the Ennio Tardini stadium looking for their first win on the road this season.

The Sardinian outfit has taken just three points - all from draws - of a possible 21 away from home.

Chievo go into Sunday's home match against Sampdoria on the back of a three-match winning streak.

Their good run of form has seen the Verona outfit climb from the foot of the standings to 15th place in recent weeks.

Lazio coach Vladimir Petkovic will be under pressure to take a positive result against Livorno at the Stadio Olimpico, with his side having failed to emerge triumphant in their last six league games.

Genoa are eighth and will fancy their chances of taking three points at home to Atalanta, with Sunday's rivals having won just once and lost seven times on the road this season.

Udinese are hoping to have captain Antonio Di Natale back for Sunday's match against Torino. Di Natale missed last weekend's 3-3 draw at Napoli with a thigh problem but should return to play this weekend.


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