Claudio Marchisio is relishing the prospect of lining up against Livorno at the Stadio Armando Picchi for the first time in his career when the Bianconeri travel to Tuscany on Sunday afternoon.
Despite racking up over 240 professional career appearances since making his Bianconeri debut in 2006, the midfielder has yet to face the Amaranto on their home patch.
And, in spite of suspensions and injuries threatening to deprive Antonio Conte of personnel in defence and midfield, he feels the Bianconeri's desire to get their upcoming run of seven consecutive fixtures off to a positive start will more than compensate for any absences.
Speaking exclusively to Sky at the club’s headquarters, the 27-year-old began: “For one reason or another I’ve never been able to play at Livorno, so Saturday will be a first as far as I’m concerned.
“We’ve got a tough game ahead of us, against a newly-promoted side led by a young and knowledgeable coach. We’ve got a few absences, but I’m sure that whoever plays will want to put on a good show and do well. I’m also ready to play in a different role if required, something I’ve always done over the last few years.”
After enduring a stop-start introduction to the campaign following a knee injury sustained in the Super Cup final, Marchisio claims he is now nearing peak physical condition.
“I’m happy, the physical problem which kept me out for a month and a half is fully healed. The most important thing for me since returning was to regain my form, and now my condition is good again things can only get better.”
Before getting down to action in Tuscany, both teams, along with all those involved in this weekend’s Italian championship fixtures, will observe a minute’s silence in honour of the victims whose lives have been taken in the Sardinian flooding.
It is a tragedy that Marchisio, who retains strong links with the island, feels particularly close to.
“I’m very fond of the area and not just because it’s somewhere I often visit on holiday. My first call up to the main squad was for a match against Cagliari, when Fabio Capello was in charge. I still remember that game and Fabio Cannavaro’s equaliser. This is a memory that will keep me linked with Sardinia forever. I’ve got plenty of friends there and I would like to send my love to all of the Sardinian population. I hope they’re soon able to overcome this tragedy.”