Conte backs Llorente for Spain World Cup spot

Juventus coach Antonio Conte has backed Fernando Llorente to earn a spot in Spain's FIFA World Cup squad with his performances in Turin.

The former Athletic Bilbao striker initially struggled to make an impact following his free transfer to Serie A, scoring just twice in his first 10 outings.

However, he has gone on to net three goals in as many games, and Conte believes Vicente del Bosque will take notice, despite Llorente having played in just three friendlies in the past 18 months.

Llorente is likely to be crucial as Juve chase a UEFA Champions League win against Copenhagen on Wednesday - defeat will see the two-time winners eliminated at the group stage.

Conte said: "Llorente has done very well. He's been patient, shown his desire to work and is a complete player.

"Llorente deserves plenty of credit, he's got plenty of room for improvement, but if he keeps progressing then he should go to the World Cup.

"He is doing well with Tevez. But let's not forget the others who have helped us enjoy plenty of success over the past two years."

Juventus returned to the top of Serie A over the weekend courtesy of a 2-0 win over Livorno, as Roma drew their third consecutive game.

Conte urged focus from his side though, as they look to rescue their delicately poised European campaign without key defender Andrea Barzagli, who misses out due to a thigh problem.

The Juve boss added: "Barzagli will not feature in tomorrow's game. We're relaxed about the situation, (Martin) Caceres is doing very well.

"We've used two systems of play in the Champions League. Tomorrow (Wednesday) we'll look to play the system that gives us the most guarantees.

"Roma's result doesn't change anything, we just need to focus on ourselves and look to improve where we need to."


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