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Antonio Conte previews Champions League clash with AC Milan

Antonio Conte previews Champions League clash with AC Milan

Tottenham Hotspur manager Antonio Conte is relishing the chance to return to the San Siro ahead of his side’s Champions League clash with former rivals AC Milan.

The 53-year-old led Inter Milan to the Scudetto during his two-year spell with the Nerazzurri and returns to take on Stefano Pioli’s struggling side.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the game (via Calciomercato), Conte admitted it will be a difficult game with both teams in the midst of a poor run of form.

“Returning to San Siro causes great emotion,” Conte said. “I have spent two intense, beautiful years in which we managed to do something important with the Inter. 

“Coming back causes very strong emotions. For me, but also for the players, it is something extraordinary. We face the Italian champions, and we know how difficult it is to win Serie A

“They were extraordinary. It will certainly be a difficult match between two teams who they will try to outdo themselves.”

Conte also touched on his side’s midfield crisis after Rodrigo Bentancur was ruled out for the rest of the season with an ACL injury.

Yves Bissouma is also set to spend a lengthy spell on the sidelines, while Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg has been ruled out of the Milan tie through suspension.

Conte has been left with Oliver Skipp and Pape Matar Sarr as midfield options, and the Italian coach has backed the duo to step up in the absence of the preferred partnership.

“We didn’t have time to consider this possibility,” Conte added. “Rodrigo got hurt two days ago – we didn’t have time to react. There aren’t many solutions at stake. We have very good players in the squad like Skipp and Sarr.

“We spoke to the younger players, now is their time, and we have to be able to help them, to overcome the emotion of the impact, and to have faith in them.”

Tottenham’s league form has come under scrutiny following a series of inconsistent results. 

The Lilywhites head into the Champions League clash off the back of a humiliating 4-1 defeat to Leicester City, casting doubts over the chances of getting a result in Milan.

However, the reigning Serie A champions are also in a rough patch after winning just one of their last eight games in all competitions.

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