Marco Storari will start in goal for Juventus against Pescara on Saturday, boss Antonio Conte has confirmed.
Gigi Buffon, who was criticised for the two goals he conceded at Bayern Munich on Tuesday, will be rested after struggling with a cold over the last week.
“Storari will be in goal tomorrow,” Conte stated in his media conference on Friday. “Gigi was suffering with illness after the Inter game and it popped up again after Bayern.
“Behind him here is a great goalkeeper who would be first-choice in any other Serie A side. If I didn’t have the guarantee of a player like Storari, then I’d ask Gigi to make a sacrifice.”
Conte began the question and answer session by making it clear that he would not be discussing the Champions League quarter-final tie.
“I’ll only talk about Pescara today as that is our present,” he added. “It’s a game that will allow us to lay another Scudetto brick should we win.
“We’re taking nothing for granted. We have a good advantage over our rivals, but we must remain focused until the maths say otherwise.
“Winning tomorrow is not important, it is fundamental. To win the title for a second consecutive season would be extraordinary, marvellous.”
Conte also defended his players and his club following the criticism received after the 2-0 loss in Germany this week.
“We shouldn’t lose sight of reality. In a matter of months, 17 or 18, Juve have won the Scudetto, a Super Cup, we’re first in the championship, we reached the semi-finals of the Coppa and we’re now in the last eight of the Champions League.
“We’ve picked ourselves up after finishing in seventh place for two years in a row.
“We should never forget that – myself, the club, the players and especially the fans. They have to understand that something extraordinary is happening. Winning is not easy.”
Turning to team selections, Conte was asked whether any of his players had asked him for a breather.
“I don’t think anyone would come up to me and say they were tired as I make the decisions. If someone did then it would be an own goal, as it means they would also be tired for Bayern Munich.”
Conte is without the suspended Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini in defence, while there are whispers that Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo will start on the bench.
“Kwadwo Asamoah and Luca Marrone will definitely play. The Ghanaian has had a difficult time after the African Cup of Nations, but I knew that would happen. If I could turn back time, I’d give him seven or 10 days holiday.”
Sky Sport Italia have this afternoon suggested that Juve may line up with: Storari; Bonucci, Marrone, Peluso; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pogba, Giaccherini, Asamoah; Vucinic, Giovinco.
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