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Juventus short on strikers

Juventus boss Antonio Conte is suffering a lack of striking options ahead of Tuesday’s Coppa Italia semi-final clash with Lazio.

The 43-year-old has been left with a depleted strikeforce following injuries to Sebastian Giovinco and Nicklas Bendtner, while leading scorer Fabio Quagliarella misses out through suspension.

And Conte admits he is erring on the side of caution before making a decision on Mirko Vucinic’s fitness.

“We’ll have to evaluate Vucinic,” Conte told reporters.

“He played 90 intense minutes at the weekend after a period in which we had to preserve him because of his ankle.

“I’ll need to speak to Vucinic, but I have to evaluate everything. I don’t want him to get injured again, I want to be cautious.

“We’ll have to carefully consider whether to give him another 90 minutes, especially as we only have one striker left in Alessandro Matri.

“I’m not yet able to say who will play, I’ll have to deploy someone out of their natural position.”

The Bianconeri are also set to be without the influence of Andrea Pirlo once more.

The 33-year-old missed out on the 4-0 victory over Udinese at the weekend and Conte confirmed Pirlo would again be unavailable for selection.

“Pirlo won’t play, that’s for certain. However, Claudio Marchisio should return,” he added.

Mon 21 January, 2013
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