Hellas Verona boss Andrea Mandorlini is encouraging his men to think positive ahead of Thursday evening’s Coppa Italia last 16 encounter with Italy’s reigning champions at Juventus Stadium.
Juventus remain the bookmakers’ favourites to advance through to the quarter-finals but Mandorlini, whose side ran the Bianconeri close during last season’s Serie A meeting in Turin, is hoping his team can show a similarly plucky approach tomorrow night.
Speaking to journalists ahead of his team’s departure from Verona, the 54-year-old said: “I would like to see a repeat of last season’s game, when we gave them a run for their money. We’re a young team and perhaps the unexpected could occur. The odds are against us but we’ll be positive in our mindset.”
After Massimiliano Allegri confirmed his intention to shuffle his pack for the visit of the Gialloblu earlier in the day, Mandorlini followed suit when talking over the game with the media.
He revealed veteran striker Luca Toni, formerly of Juventus, will be given the chance to recharge his batteries and that Rafael is currently in pole position for a starting goalkeeper’s shirt.
“Tomorrow is a knockout game and then we’ll have another one in the league which brings the first half of the season to an end. First we’ll think about the last 16 match, for which both sides will ring the changes.
“Luca Toni, for example, will not be in the starting line-up tomorrow. Rafael will come back in between the sticks and I’d like to give him another go for the second game in Turin. Then we’ll reevaluate everything for the start of the second half of the campaign.”