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Conte hints at Europa League squad rotation
Feb 19, 2014 1:21 PM EST
Juventus coach Antonio Conte has hinted he could look to rest players for Thursday's UEFA Europa League tie with Trabzonspor.
The Italian champions will play their first game in this year's competition at Juventus Stadium, having dropped out of the UEFA Champions League in December.
With Juve on course for a third straight Serie A title, Conte is keen to ensure all of his squad remain available for a tough fixture run-in but insisted he would look to "honour" Europe's second-tier club competition.
"In the next 52 days, including the international fixtures, the players will feature in 16 games. We all need to be ready for this," he said.
"I need a full squad at my disposal for the upcoming run of fixtures. We want to honour the Europa League as best we can.
"Winning the Europa League would be extraordinary. It's an opportunity we all need to take and I expect everyone to contribute.
"We're up against a team who won their group ahead of Lazio. They've got some strong players in forward areas."
Juve finished third in Group B of the Champions League following a last-gasp defeat to Galatasaray in a game that had to be rearranged due to snow in Istanbul.
Conte's men join the likes of Napoli, Porto and Ajax in dropping down to the Europa League and the Italian is wary of the challenge his side face in trying to win the competition.
"Thanks to whoever thinks Juve are favourites, but there's a long road ahead and we'll need to be at the top of our game to progress," he continued.
"We're focused and need to be determined if we want to make progress and achieve important things
"The Europa League is a goal we want to achieve. With all the players we have here, I've got great belief in my squad."