Wary of the Rossoblù
“Crotone might be down towards the bottom of the table, but they’ve rarely been blown off the park. A lot of their defeats have come at the very end of matches, such as against Milan and Inter, while they would have beaten Fiorentina away were it not for conceding an injury-time equaliser.
“This all means that they’re a very well-organised and balanced outfit who are difficult to score against. They play a classic 4-4-2 formation but it’s not easy to break down.
“We know that we’re in for a tough game tomorrow and we’ll need to be patient in order to get the victory that we want.”
Three points a priority
“Not winning tomorrow would undo all the good work of Sunday’s victory against Inter. Make no mistake, this is a crucial stage of the season and the players are taking on board the responsibility and trained well again this morning.
“We need to keep securing maximum points throughout the rest of the campaign if we’re to lift the Scudetto at the end of the campaign.
“I’ve never known a team to win a league title without fighting for every ball in every minute of every game and that’s what we need to make sure we do in Crotone.”
Same formation, different faces
“I'll be sticking with the same 4-2-3-1 formation tomorrow. The only changes will be with some of the players:
“Giorgio Chiellini will be rested. I’ve good options at centre-back now with Medhi Benatia back from the Africa Cup of Nations and Andrea Barzagli recovered from a bout of the flu.
“Claudio Marchisio won’t be on the plane, as he’s been suffering from back pains the last couple of days, which is normal after undergoing the kind of long-term injury he has.
“Mario Lemina and Rolando Mandragora haven’t been selected either, but they’ve been training with the rest of the squad again this week and will be with us full-time from Thursday.
“Marco Pjaca, meanwhile, could start from the first whistle tomorrow. He and Paulo Dybala are more than capable of filling in down the right in case Juan Cuadrado is rested.”