Three points a priority
“Yesterday the boys underwent a warm-down session following the match against Porto, but tomorrow night we’re already in action again, so we’ve only really today in order to prepare properly for Empoli.
“They’re an organised outfit and stay compact during games. The season is long and, while the fixtures against our title rivals are very important, that takes nothing away from the significance of games like tomorrow which is undoubtedly a must-win.
“We’ve still a lot of room for improvement, but the 63 points we currently have aren’t enough even to qualify for the Europa League, so we need to stay focused in order to get the win that will help us in our pursuit of the Scudetto.”
Team news for tomorrow
“Given we had Porto on Wednesday and there’s Napoli coming up in the Coppa Italia next Tuesday, I’ll be making a few changes to the team that plays tomorrow night. Khedira will be rested and I’ll make a call on Higuain today.
“Neto starts between the sticks in order to give Buffon a breather, while Marchisio will very likely feature as well. The ideal situation for Claudio is to play a whole game every week in order for him to reach peak condition.
“Bonucci is available for Empoli too. He’s said sorry for what happened. He’s a key player for us and is back in the frame for a place in the line-up.”
Inspiration for super subs
“I have to be honest, but the idea of making those substitutions against Porto didn’t come to me in my sleep the night before! Dani Alves is a winner with the enthusiasm of a kid. Pjaca, meanwhile, showed major signs of improvement both during and after the match against Palermo. He’s a very talented player technically and he’s growing from a tactical standpoint too.”