Conte to make changes for Milan clash

05 October 2013 10:32

Juventus's Champions League shocker against Galatasaray in midweek has forced Antonio Conte to make several changes for the visit of Milan on Sunday in what is a must-win clash for both sides.

Juve trail Serie A leaders Roma by two points after six games and welcome the Rossoneri to Turin four days after being shocked by a late equaliser in a 2-2 home draw against the Turkish champions.

Although dominating the encounter, Juventus only got back into the match thanks to two goals in the closing 12 minutes only for Umut Bulut's 89th minute leveller to secure a share of the points for Roberto Mancini's men.

It was a far from convincing performance from the Bianconeri and although Milan are suffering their own mini-crisis, Conte now has his own injury woes.

Striker Mirko Vucinic and right winger Stephan Lichsteiner both picked up injury knocks in the second half against Galatasaray and are ruled out.

Reports in the Italian media claim Paul Pogba could also be sidelined following a lacklustre display in midweek which suggested the usually lively French midfielder was suffering from fatigue.

It could mean a rare start for Fernando Llorente in the other striker's role alongside Carlos Tevez, the Spain international having impressed after coming on as a late substitute in Wednesday's Group B clash.

Tevez has been one of Conte's most influential players since joining the club from Manchester City in the summer.

And the Argentinian is relishing the "family" atmosphere which is allowing him to enjoy playing football again, according to an interview with Hurra Juventus magazine.

"It's like a big family at Juventus. We're all close and this allows us to grow day by day," said Tevez, who feels no pressure having the number 10 shirt famously worn by Michel Platini, Roberto Baggio, and Alessandro Del Piero.

"I don't think about it, that would only add pressure. And when there's pressure, it can affect your game.

"I'm trying to play the way I did growing up in my old neighbourhood. I want to relive this unique situation. My dream now is to stay with Juventus and enjoy every moment."

Milan captain Riccardo Montolivo, who has returned from injury, admitted Tevez has impressed him.

"What has really struck me, besides his technical qualities, is the intensity that he shows getting the ball back. It's incredible to see how he chases players down," Montolivo told Tuttosport newspaper.

Milan would be forgiven for hoping Tevez, who has hit the net three times in six games, has an off day.

Milan will be without playmaker Kaka and striker Mario Balotelli, who is serving a three-match ban and currently sit in ninth, 10 points adrift of Roma and eight shy of Juve.

Montolivo, who returned from injury for Milan's 1-1 Champions League draw with Ajax in midweek, added: "It's been tough start and we have to win this match. A win would give us confidence and security."

Source: AFP

World Cup Group G

Pos Team Pld Pts
- Belgium 0 0
- Panama 0 0
- Tunisia 0 0
- England 0 0