“We won’t be making wholesale changes tomorrow night. We are short on numbers at the back due to various injuries. That said, a couple of players will be rested in midfield while Dybala and Pjaca are very likely to feature; both need minutes under their belts.”
PRAISE FOR PJACA
“On the one hand, his injury earlier in the season was clearly unfortunate for him but on the other you could say it has done him some good too. This time on the sidelines has given him time to recover from an intense summer and now he has rejoined the squad looking much fresher and with renewed enthusiasm. He is a fabulous player; his return will have the effect of a new signing this month.”
“Dani Alves will be looked at again today hopefully with a view to returning to training soon. Once he has undergone his exam, we will have a better idea of when that might be. We’re expecting Bonucci and Alex Sandro to be available again later in the week.”
ASA & MARIO
“Kwadwo played very well on Sunday and will be called upon again tomorrow. Mandzukic’s commitment was as high as ever and I was pleased with him too: he is in excellent form at the moment both mentally and physically. Either Mario or Higuain can play and it changes little, I have absolute faith in both of them."
EYES ON THE PRIZE
“Our defence of the Coppa Italia is about to begin and we want to go all the way again this year. We’ve got a potentially tricky draw in each round so it won’t be easy; if we navigate tomorrow’s tie then there will be even more difficult ones lying in wait as we go through the competition."
CREDIT TO ATALANTA
“Atalanta are in good nick, playing some very good football in all competitions with the entire squad doing their bit. They are reaping the rewards of a solid and shrewd infrastructure off the field – particularly their youth academy - and for that, they deserve great credit. Naturally, our focus is only on reaching the next round of the cup, ideally within 90 minutes with a tough trip to Fiorentina coming up this weekend. If we’re not at the races, then we will risk being knocked out.”