May 9, 2021

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Conte is keen to avoid “bad surprises” as Inter Al Ain’s title

Milan: Antonio Conte has warned Inter Milan to avoid causing any “nasty surprises” as his team look to finish this weekend’s Serie A title at the Crotone Stadium.

Saturday’s match (Sunday, 12:00 Malaysia time) in the far south of Italy pits the leaders of the Italian league, near the first title since 2010, against the bottom-ranked team that would be relegated if they lost.

“I have warned the team, we will need hunger and competitive grudge to avoid bad surprises,” Conte told a pre-match press conference on Friday.

If Inter wins and second-placed Atalanta fail to claim all three points in Sassuolo on Sunday, Inter will claim their nineteenth Serie A title with four games.

“We want to finish this season in the best possible way, which will be a work of art,” said the 51-year-old, who is looking to end nine years of reigning from his former club, Juventus.

“We had an extraordinary journey and we are now ready to conquer something historic.

“We have to have the utmost respect for Croton, and they will want to show that they deserve to stay in the Italian league and there is no better chance of doing that than facing the first team in the standings.”

Before leaving for Crotone, Chinese club president Stephen Chang met the team.

“There was a simple greeting because we hadn’t met each other for quite some time,” Conte said.

“He wished us good luck too, because the president knows very well that we haven’t achieved anything yet.”

“When you get close to a goal, waiting is bound to become something that you have to know how to manage.

In this sense, I say that Inter will play tomorrow.

“Anyway, everyone here knows that something extraordinary is about to happen this year.”

Inter’s last confrontation against Crotone was a 6-2 win earlier this season, with hat-trick by Lautaro Martinez, goals by Romelu Lukaku and Achraf Hakimi. – France Press agency