Lazio boss Vladimir Petkovic believes his players can take heart from last year’s form against Juventus as they bid to send out an early statement of intent in Sunday night’s Italian Super Cup showdown at Rome’s Stadio Olimpico.
The Sarajevo-born coach admits the strength of Antonio Conte’s men makes them a daunting prospect for any team to face, but claims his Biancocelesti will do their utmost to match the reigning champions all the way.
Speaking to reporters in Rome, Petkovic said: “Juventus are an extremely strong side. We’ve developed with respect to last year and have a solid defence, even though we need to be more clinical up front. Last year we struggled to contain them at the start, then we took courage. Tomorrow we need to cause them difficulties and impose our style of play.
“They’re certainly the team to beat, given that they haven’t sold anyone and made important acquisitions, but they’ll have to confirm this on the field of play. Our strength lies in the group and this also increases the value of individuals. If both teams play to their maximum potential it will be tougher for us, but we’ll do all we can to bring the trophy home.”
Meanwhile, German frontman Miroslav Klose, entering his third season in the blue and white of Lazio, says his team-mates are ready to challenge the Bianconeri’s title of Scudetto favourites by producing a convincing display in the capital.
The 35-year-old added: “There are many Juventus players who can cause us danger, such as Vidal, but we want to show we’re capable of competing with them. Buffon? He’s a great goalkeeper - I hope he’ll have to pick the ball out the back of the net tomorrow, perhaps after one of my goals.”