Monday January 23 2012
Conte to make Coppa changes

Antonio Conte has admitted that he’ll make alterations to his preferred starting XI in Juventus’ Coppa Italia tie against Roma.

Conte has rarely changed his line-up in Serie A since striking on a winning formula, but he will shake things up against the Giallorossi on Tuesday.

“We’ll certainly change something because of injuries, but also to give a chance to the players who have always been at our disposal since the beginning of the season,” he stated.

“We’ll aim to give an opportunity to those who deserve to play and those who already impressed against Bologna in the last round.”

Juventus will definitely be without Claudio Marchisio after the Italian international picked up a knee problem at Atalanta.

“I hope that Claudio recovers quickly. I need to replace him with someone of similar characteristics and Emanuele Giaccherini comes close in terms of quantity, quality and his ability to break from deep.

“There is also Luca Marrone who is growing a lot and who can replace Pirlo. Luca can play in all three midfield roles, Giaccherini can cover two because he obviously can’t be used as a deep playmaker.”

Roma are in a good spell of form and Conte has respect for the Stadio Olimpico outfit – even if he’s keen for a spot in the semi-finals.

“It’s a quarter-final game and we shouldn’t forget that Roma knocked us out at home last season. We’ll look to get through against a team who is doing really well.

“When we faced Roma in the League I already stated that I had been impressed by the work of Luis Enrique.

“They are a team who now have a more precise identity and an idea of how football should be played.”

Conte, meanwhile, confirmed that Dutch international Eljero Elia probably wouldn’t be available because of injury.

“The doctor has told me that Elia can’t play because he’s picked up a knee problem.

“I’ve spoken with Elia – he’s struggled to adapt which is understandable given that he has come from a foreign League and he doesn’t speak the language.

“A lot of players in the past have had similar issues like Platini or Zidane. I myself was in a coma for a year before I settled in the world of Juve…”

Elia, 24, cost €9m from Hamburg in the summer but he’s played just two games in Serie A for a total of 58 minutes.

Juventus (possible): Storari; Lichtsteiner, Barzagli, Bonucci, De Ceglie; Pirlo, Vidal, Giaccherini; Krasic, Borriello, Del Piero.

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