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Antonio previews Rangers clash: “I’m sure the atmosphere will be amazing”

Fri 22 July 2022, 19:00|Tottenham Hotspur

Antonio Conte needs no introduction to the football cauldron that is Ibrox Stadium.

Turn the clock back to 1995, and he was part of a Juventus side that beat Rangers 4-0 in Glasgow in the group stage of the 1995/96 UEFA Champions League, having already toppled the Scottish champions 4-1 at their old Stadio Delle Alpi.

This was a peak Juve squad - including the likes of Peruzzi, Ferrara, Sousa, Deschamps, Vialli, Del Piero, Ravanelli, Jugovic and Di Livio alongside Antonio - that would go on to beat Ajax on penalties in the final and lift Europe’s premier trophy.

Antonio remembers those matches well - not least coming up against a certain Paul Gascoigne at Ibrox - and expects the famous old stadium to be rocking again when we step out to play for the Walter Tull Memorial Trophy on Saturday (3pm).

“The atmosphere will be amazing when you play away against Rangers, or against Celtic,” said Antonio, speaking exclusively to SPURSPLAY ahead of the trip. “It’s always very difficult because of that, but a good test.

“For sure, we are talking about a really good team, they lost the final of the Europa League last season and in the last friendly game, they beat West Ham 3-1. It’s a good test in a moment where we are working hard, but at the same time, we want to play a good game and try to be fit for the start of the season.”

Rangers kick-off their SPL campaign next weekend and in a huge first couple of weeks, face Belgium side Royale Union Saint-Gilloise over two legs in the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League. That all suggests that physically, Gers will be in a good place on Saturday.

“Surely, they are more ready than us, they start their season earlier than us, but for many reasons, this test will be good,” added Antonio. “We play against a good team, now they are ready to start the season, more ready than us, for many reasons, it will be a good test, but we are Tottenham, and we have to face every game in the right way, and try to get a win in every game.”

Antonio on SPURSPLAY