Miralem Pjanic admits Juventus are putting themselves in "a bit of danger" by failing to be more ruthless in front of goal.

Juve are unbeaten in 13 competitive matches under Maurizio Sarri in 2019-20, sitting top of Serie A after 10 rounds and with two victories from three games in the Champions League.

However, they have at times struggled to win matches comfortably - they have only scored more than twice in a game on two occasions this term and their most recent four victories have all been with a 2-1 scoreline.

Pjanic missed the latest triumph over Genoa, which looked set to finish in a draw until Cristiano Ronaldo scored a penalty in the 96th minute, but the midfielder will likely return to the starting line-up for the derby with Torino on Saturday.

While he has thrived under Sarri's system, Pjanic has called on Juve's forwards to do more with the chances that are coming their way.

"What I like about [Sarri's] vision is the one-, two-touch game, making the ball move more than us, because the ball always travels faster," he said to Tuttosport.

"Although, recently we've been seeing out matches with few goals compared to what we're creating, and this puts us in a bit of danger and doesn't give us all the satisfaction we could have for how we play.

"We have to be more clinical and take more chances. This will also make opponents have more respect and fear than us.

"Calm and clarity will come once we start to score more, and we'll then keep doing so because this team has so much quality that we'll be able to score goals from every angle. But we have to be more clinical."

Ronaldo was guilty of missing opportunities against Genoa but Pjanic was mostly relieved they got the win in the end, given Inter remain just a point behind them in the table.

He added: "It happens to everyone, but luckily we won in the end and they're three important points, given the results: Inter had won, Napoli lost points...

"It was important to keep up and move forward and to do so until March, which will be the most important month, and maybe see if we can stretch ahead a little."

Barcelona are planning for life after Luis Suarez.

With Suarez now aged 32, the clock is ticking on his career at Camp Nou.

Barca are identifying potential replacements and have their sights on an Argentina international setting Serie A and Europe alight.

 

TOP STORY – MARTINEZ INTERESTS BARCA

LaLiga champions Barcelona are interested in Inter star Lautaro Martinez, reports Mundo Deportivo.

Ernesto Valverde's Barca are looking for a long-term replacement for Uruguay forward Luis Suarez, who turns 33 in January. 

And the front page of Friday's newspaper says Argentina international Martinez fits the bill for Barca amid reported interest from Manchester United.

 

ROUND-UP

Roma have opened talks with Manchester United about signing Chris Smalling permanently, according to the Express. Smalling is on loan from United and the English defender scored his first goal for Roma during the week. The Red Devils are reportedly seeking £17.2million (€20m).

- Remaining at Old Trafford and Sport Italia claims Paul Pogba was close to joining Paris Saint-Germain during the previous transfer window. Pogba was heavily linked to LaLiga giants Real Madrid and former club Juventus .

- Tuttosport says Juventus are ready to make another attempt to sign Real Madrid midfielder Isco. The Spain international has struggled for regular game time and Madrid are reportedly holding out for €70m. The Italian champions have also been linked to Manchester United teenager Tahith Chong, who is out of contract at the end of the season, via the Daily Mail.

- Barcelona's Arturo Vidal is ready to snub the Chinese Super League in favour for a move to Inter, says InterNews. Vidal continues to be heavily linked to a reunion with former Juve boss Antonio Conte at Inter, while Chinese giants Shanghai SIPG are reportedly interested.

United could be set for a raid on Juve. Tuttosport claims the Old Lady will allow Emre Can to leave in January as United, Bayern Munich and PSG eye the Germany international.

- According to the Daily Mail, former Manchester United and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is the front-runner to replace Unai Emery at Arsenal. Emery is under mounting pressure in London.

Stefano Pioli challenged Suso to contribute to AC Milan's collective endeavours after the benched forward came on to net a superb winner against SPAL.

Suso's 63rd-minute free-kick was the only goal of the game in a 1-0 victory at San Siro on Thursday, giving Pioli the first win of his fledgling reign at the third attempt and lifting the Rossoneri into the top half of the Serie A table.

Without a goal since the end of last season and increasingly the focus of criticism from supporters, Suso was taken out of the firing line as his fellow Spaniard Samu Castillejo started against struggling SPAL in the 13th minute.

He made way for the former Liverpool youngster shortly afterwards and a moment of sumptuous, game-breaking quality followed.

"He is a great quality player, I think he can do more," Milan head coach Pioli told Sky.

"I'm happy to have players with these characteristics but we have to start thinking as a team, not as individuals."

Pioli was pleased to see plenty of the common spirit he desired during a contest that was rarely as easy on the eye as its decisive moment.

"I'm happy for the players, for the fans and for the club," he said. "I asked the team for the spirit and there it was. I saw the right one.

"We gave little away [but] kept the result in hovering until the end. Now we must immediately concentrate on the next game."

Lazio and Napoli are next on the agenda at San Siro, either side of a trip to Serie A champions Juventus.

"We will have to fight like today," Pioli added, when addressing the daunting schedule to come.  

"Being worried means putting in the right attention. Now let's recover energy.

"I'm sure the team is growing. We must recharge ourselves physically and mentally."

Suso came off the bench to emphatically answer his critics with a stunning free-kick and give AC Milan a much-needed 1-0 win over Serie A strugglers SPAL.

The Spanish forward has become a focus of ire for a section of the Rossoneri faithful amid a wretched start to the season and recently appointed head coach Stefano Pioli dropped him to the bench on Thursday.

It had the desired effect, too, as Suso curled in a majestic 63rd-minute free-kick after his replacement Samu Castillejo hit the crossbar during the first half.

The enterprising Theo Hernandez had a goal disallowed for offside before Suso broke the deadlock, setting up a result that edges Milan into the top half of the table while SPAL remain second bottom.

Lucas Paqueta tested visiting goalkeeper Etrit Berisha when he caught a third-minute drive sweetly, before Pioli's big selection call almost paid a swift dividend.

Castillejo rattled the crossbar from close range in the 13th minute after Paqueta found left-back Hernandez to cross.

Another man called back into the starting XI, Krzysztof Piatek, sent a speculative first-time effort from range zipping narrowly over, although the hosts lost impetus during an increasingly turgid first period.

Hernandez briefly thought he had given Milan the lead, slotting in first time from Paqueta's throughball, but the playmaker delayed his pass a fraction too long and the flag was raised.

Suso was introduced for Castillejo in the 57th minute and he quickly made his presence felt – leaving Berisha with no chance after Francesco Vicari was booked for fouling Piatek.

Paqueta failed to lift a finish over Berisha for the goal his endeavours deserved after being played in by Hakan Calhanoglu - wastefulness he almost regretted when Jasmin Kurtic headed over a glorious chance to equalise five minutes from time.

What does it mean? Pioli gets off and running

It will take much more than a fitful triumph over relegation candidates to win Milan's fans round to former Inter boss Pioli but there was a risk of his reign unravelling at a rapid pace after one point from his first two matches in charge. A first clean sheet since mid-September was also welcome.

SPAL claimed a creditable 1-1 draw against Napoli last time out. Nevertheless, a return of seven points from 10 matches suggests a long, hard Italian winter ahead.

Paqueta pulls the strings

Although Suso will deservedly grab the headlines, most of Milan's best creative moments were down to their Brazilian schemer. Paqueta must still sharpen his end product – the flicker of indecisiveness on Hernandez's disallowed goal standing as a case in point – but there was plenty to admire from a player who looks set to shoulder his team's creative burden on this evidence.

Vicari goes off-road

The centre-back played his part in a determined defensive effort but erred decisively by impeding Piatek to leave Suso licking his lips.

What's next

Milan face a tough test against Lazio at San Siro next time out, while SPAL will look to get back on track at home to Sampdoria.

Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain is back in training ahead of Saturday's Derby della Mole showdown with Torino.

Higuain was not part of Juve's squad for Wednesday's dramatic 2-1 victory over Genoa after coming off worse in an aerial collision with Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel last weekend.

The 31-year-old received medical treatment on the field and required stitches to his head after completing the remaining minutes of the match.

However, Juve confirmed on their official website that Higuain trained with his team-mates on Thursday, meaning a possible return to action for the trip to city rivals Torino on Saturday.

Miralem Pjanic, also absent for the win against Genoa, worked separately from the group as he continues his recovery from a minor muscle injury sustained last week.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 96th-minute penalty to help Juventus overcome Genoa, lifting them a point above Inter at the top of Serie A.

Claudio Marchisio has revealed details of an armed robbery at his home earlier this week, telling of how five men held the former Juventus star and his wife at gunpoint.

The ex-Italy midfielder, who announced his retirement earlier this month, was targeted by the armed gang at his property in Vinovo, Turin, on Tuesday.

Marchisio was made to hand over valuable possessions but both he and his wife were left physically unharmed.

Reliving the horrific ordeal, the 33-year-old told Corriere della Sera: "They had their guns pointed at our heads. It was tough, as I'd never seen two real guns before.

"Fortunately, we managed to stay clear-headed. There were five men who broke into our home in Vinovo, they were asking me where we kept the safe. 

"I told them we didn't have one, but they didn't believe me. We really don't. At that point, they took everything they could find and then left. 

"I was frightened for myself and my wife Roberta. Thank heavens the kids weren't at home. They'd gone to play football and their grandfather hadn't brought them back yet.

"In fact, their coach was the first to suspect something was wrong, because we didn't answer the phone. 

"When the robbers realised someone was concerned, they started to rush. That was a stroke of real luck."

Marchisio added: "I know these incidents happen all the time, all over the world. This time it happened to us and fortunately we are safe and sound to tell the tale. 

"That's the most important thing, because I care little for the material possessions that were taken. 

"What remains is the fear but, despite it all, we were able to stay calm, even with a gun pointed to our heads."

Marchisio won 15 major trophies with boyhood club Juventus, including seven Serie A titles, before joining Zenit in 2018 and spending a single season in Russia before his retirement.

Maurizio Sarri admitted Juventus missed the quality of Miralem Pjanic in their dramatic victory over Genoa.

Juve were without the injured midfielder and striker Gonzalo Higuain for Wednesday's Serie A clash at Allianz Stadium, which they edged 2-1 through a 96th-minute penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Italian champions were held 1-1 by Lecce last weekend and were heading for another draw after Christian Kouame cancelled out Leonardo Bonucci's opener.

But sluggish Juventus found a last-gasp winner after Ronaldo won and scored a penalty in a game that ended with both sides reduced to 10 men.

Victory lifted Juve a point above Inter at the top of the table and Sarri was pleased that his side found a solution in the absence of some key men.

"We are speaking about players who are unavailable," he said at his post-match news conference. "We need to focus on those who can play. 

"We played with [Paulo] Dybala and Ronaldo and [Federico] Bernardeschi behind them. Then with Douglas Costa and two very offensive midfielders. 

"We missed Pjanic's quality, of course, and his rhythm, because he moves the ball fast and our play gets faster. 

"Gonzalo is a player that in the last 40 minutes of the game is always in the box more than the strikers we had today. But we had solutions."

Pjanic picked up a knock against Lecce but avoided any serious damage, meaning he could be back in contention for Saturday's Derby della Mole against Torino.

Douglas Costa and Aaron Ramsey also returned from lay-offs as second-half substitutes in midweek, but Sarri is being cautious over their fitness.

"Ramsey is not completely fit and Douglas only trained twice," the Italian said. "Both are not ready for the 90 minutes. 

"I was worried about Ramsey today, but he reacted well until the end. Anyway, I don't think we need to think about who is missing."

We are edging closer to the release of Football Manager 2020 on November 19, meaning new elements and features of the game are seeing the light of day.

That also means talk of those precious 'wonderkids' is starting, as managers look to get a head start on which young talents to snap up early instead of forking out massive sums for the same kids a few years down the line.

A player's potential is never a guarantee of future success. Injuries, a lack of faith from the manager or poor mentality can cause havoc with so-called 'hot prospects'.

Vinicius Junior, Rodrygo Goes, Jadon Sancho and Kai Havertz are all 'wonderkid' certainties, but only a select few clubs will ever be able to afford them.

But, with the right guidance, the following lesser-known players could prove to be similarly smart acquisitions and cost significantly less...

Dillon Hoogewerf - Manchester United

A 16-year-old forward, Hoogewerf was one of the hottest prospects in Ajax's academy before Manchester United snapped him up ahead of this season. A silky dribbler and all-round attacking threat, he promises to be a talent would-be United bosses will want to focus on the development of. On the flipside, youngsters don't always reach their potential at the biggest clubs, meaning he might prove an interesting option to smaller sides… if you're patient.

Pedrinho - Corinthians

The latest - after Vinicius and Rodrygo - in a long line of Brazilian talents to be dubbed the 'next Neymar', Pedrinho looks destined for the top. An outrageously skilful attacker who usually plays out wide for Corinthians, the 21-year-old likes to come in off the right flank and on to his left foot, as he relishes a shot after beating his man. Comparisons with Arjen Robben are understandable, but the quicker you make a move, the less you'll have to stump up.

Sandro Tonali - Brescia

Given Tonali now has a full season of professional football under his belt, he's likely to be one of the hardest to attain from this list. Nevertheless, he is still at Brescia despite links with the big Italian clubs, therefore making him a tantalising proposition if you've got a bit of a budget to play with. Dubbed the 'next Andrea Pirlo', Tonali is a deep-lying midfielder who possesses a brilliant range of passing. He will also be among the very best teenagers right at the start of the game.

Antonio Marin - Dinamo Zagreb

A favourite of many on FM19 due to his immense potential and relatively low cost, left-winger Marin should still be a hot prospect and fairly attainable. He made seven league appearances for Dinamo last season, most of them coming in the final few months of the campaign, so his fee is unlikely to have rocketed just yet. Securing the 18-year-old in a deal that sees him remain in Croatia on loan for a season could be wise for his development, particularly if Dani Olmo is sold in the first few months of the game.

Devyne Rensch - Ajax

As you might expect from an Ajax academy product, Rensch is calm and composed in possession and a fine reader of the game from centre-back. He has already signed professional terms despite being only 16, so you won't be able to poach him like United have done with Hoogewerf, but he certainly shouldn't be considered unattainable. Similarly, Perr Schuurs is another interesting option at centre-back, though at 19 and now exposed to first-team football with the Dutch champions, he could be trickier to acquire.

Julian Aude - Lanus

Although Argentinian football can truly be a treasure trove of promising talent, work permits are often an issue for many players, particularly if they're young. But with Aude you shouldn't have such problems, as the 16-year-old also has Italian citizenship. The Lanus academy product has impressed with Argentina's youth sides due to his remarkable technical wizardry for a full-back, while he's also a tenacious competitor. Obviously, his age makes Aude a gamble, but he'll be affordable for many and there's little doubt about his potential, it's just a case of nurturing him.

Bryan Gil - Sevilla

The production line that nurtured Jesus Navas, Antonio Puerta, Sergio Ramos and Jose Antonio Reyes has gone a little stagnant in recent years, but Bryan arrived on the scene last term and made 11 substitute appearances in LaLiga, making an impact on the left flank in most - if not all - of them. Unless you want him on loan, he'll be difficult to sign initially for smaller clubs, but if he does become a realistic target at any point, he will provide a strong option as an out-and-out, old-fashioned left winger.

Odin Thiago Holm - Valerenga

A technically gifted central midfielder, Holm, 16, is yet to make a splash in the Valerenga first team. However, he is very highly rated in Norway, with his ability on the ball and eye for a pass drawing comparisons – perhaps predictable, given his name – with Bayern Munich star Thiago Alcantara. Considering his relative unknown status and the fact he is not playing in one of the more fashionable leagues, Holm would likely be a cheap, low-risk purchase that could really pay dividends down the line for managers aiming for a long stay.

Fernando Ovelar - Cerro Porteno

It's still to be confirmed if Ovelar will be on the game, as he is only 15. However, he has already made nine appearances for Cerro Porteno in Paraguay and scored his first goal in November 2018 when he was just 14, making him the Paraguayan Primera Division's youngest scorer and appearance maker. Although it's still early days in his career, he's a skilful and gifted forward, and if you fancy yourself as a manager adept at bringing youth talents through to the first team, he could be a shrewd investment.

Ronaldo Camara - Benfica

Already a regular for Benfica's Under-19s despite being 16, Camara is a potential diamond. A well-rounded attacking midfielder, the Guinea-Bissau native is not your average playmaker. He has a fine range of passing and can certainly dribble, but he is also a tireless worker and loves to tackle. Benfica are famous for selling cheaply acquired talents for huge sums and Camara looks to be of the same ilk… unless you can get him early.

Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham may have been humiliated 7-2 by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, but he is a target for the German giants.

With Niko Kovac overseeing an inconsistent start to the season in Munich, Bayern are reportedly willing to move on from the former Eintracht Frankfurt boss.

That could open the door for Pochettino, whose Tottenham have struggled to reach the heights of last season following their memorable run to the Champions League final.

 

TOP STORY – BAYERN CONSIDER POCH

Bayern Munich are considering Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino as a replacement for Niko Kovac, according to Sport1.

Kovac has found himself under increasing criticism following Bayern's inconsistent start to the season.

Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag – who previously worked with Bayern's reserve team – has also been linked, but sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic has reportedly identified Pochettino as the man to replace Kovac should he depart.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Mundo Deportivo, Atletico Madrid are eyeing Napoli's Faouzi Ghoulam. The left-back is out of favour and set to leave the Serie A outfit in January.

- Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain are keen to sign Borussia Dortmund's Lukasz Piszczek and Juventus midfielder Emre Can, claims Soccerlink. Piszczek's contract expires at the end of the season, while Can is reportedly eager to leave after being left out of Juve's Champions League squad.

- Sport Bild says Liverpool have joined the race to sign Valencia sensation Ferran Torres. The 19-year-old winger has attracted interest from Dortmund and Barcelona.

Arkadiusz Milik has agreed a contract extension with Napoli, reports Calciomercato. The Poland international's current deal runs out in 2021.

- Former AC Milan boss Gennaro Gattuso is favourite to take charge of Udinese. It comes as Sky Sport Italia, Tuttomercatoweb and La Gazzetta dello Sport claim Igor Tudor's position is being considered after consecutive 7-1 and 4-0 routs in Serie A.

Dortmund have set their sights on Hertha Berlin's Javairo Dilrosun, according to Bild. As the German side reportedly prepare for life without Jadon Sancho amid ongoing links to Manchester United, former Manchester City youth-team player Dilrosun is on their radar.

Cristiano Ronaldo was delighted with the way Juventus kept persisting in a nervy 2-1 win against Serie A strugglers Genoa on Wednesday.

Both sides ended with 10 men and it looked like they would share a point after Christian Kouame's bizarre goal cancelled out Leonardo Bonucci's opener in Turin.

Genoa's Kouame shot the ball with his right foot into his trailing left leg, producing a wicked deflection that wrong-footed Juve goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and appeared as if it may earn Thiago Motta's side a draw.

Ronaldo had a 92nd-minute goal disallowed after VAR ruled he was offside, but he still had time to be the hero, winning and then scoring a controversial late penalty.

"I am very happy," Ronaldo told Sky Sport Italia.

"[It was] a very difficult match against an organised team but we are Juventus, the motto is to [fight to] the end.

"We are very happy with the three points. We created a lot and we deserved it.

"Inter ahead in the standings was an extra stimulus."

Ronaldo's late spot-kick saw Juventus replace Inter at the top of Serie A – Maurizio Sarri's men one point clear.

Genoa had to play more than 40 minutes with 10 men after Francesco Cassata was given his marching orders in the 51st minute for another foul on Paulo Dybala.

Both of Cassata's yellow cards came for challenges on Dybala.

Referee Antonio Giua levelled things up at the Allianz Stadium in the 87th minute, when Juventus substitute Adrien Rabiot was given a second yellow card.

Many sides would have sat back and taken a point from there, but Juve kept persisting as Ronaldo produced a typical dose of late drama.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a 96th-minute penalty as champions Juventus scraped to a 2-1 Serie A win over strugglers Genoa on Wednesday, in a game that both sides ended with 10 men.

Genoa looked set to earn a hard-fought point in Thiago Motta's second game in charge after Christian Kouame's freak goal had cancelled out Leonardo Bonucci's 36th-minute header.

Both sides had a men sent off in the second half, Genoa's Francesco Cassata and Juve's Adrien Rabiot given their marching orders, before Ronaldo took centre stage.

The Portuguese first had a 92nd-minute tap in ruled out by VAR for offside. But that was far from the end of the drama, and there was still time for Ronaldo to fire a sluggish Juve to victory, as the striker himself won the decisive penalty following a coming-together with substitute Antonio Sanabria - VAR this time going in his favour after the spot-kick was checked by the officials.

 

FT | | WHAT A LAST-MINUTE FINISH AT THE ALLIANZ!!!!!!! #JuveGenoa #FinoAllaFine #ForzaJuve pic.twitter.com/ksl2Gnp5D0

— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 30, 2019

Juve coach Maurizio Sarri had said in the build-up that his side were suffering a "mental issue" in front of goal and they barely threatened in a tame first 30 minutes against a team with the worst defensive record in the league.

A stunning save from Ionut Radu eventually denied Paulo Dybala the opener and that chance finally woke Juventus up from their slumber, as Bonucci soon broke the deadlock.

The defender was aided by Radu's decision to come off his line in an attempt to collect Rodrigo Bentancur's corner, the goalkeeper beaten to the ball by Bonucci, who simply nodded into an empty net.

Parity was restored within five minutes, though, thanks to Kouame's slice of accidental glory.

Aiming at goal with his right foot, the Ivorian managed to kick the ball into his trailing leg, the deflection subsequently wrong-footing Juventus goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon in his 513rd league appearance for the Italian giants, which saw him equal Alessandro del Piero's club record.

Juve ramped up the pressure after Cassata's 52nd-minute dismissal - for a second yellow card - and Federico Bernardeschi then forced an excellent save from Radu with an effort from distance, before Ronaldo tested the shot-stopper from a corner.

Home substitute Douglas Costa fizzed a long-range effort agonisingly wide before Rabiot was given his marching orders - a foul on Sinan Gumus earning him a second yellow - but the hosts still found a way in the dying stages to claim the points, thanks to a spell of VAR-heavy drama.

Initially, Ronaldo scored and celebrated before his goal was disallowed for offside, but then a debatable penalty followed and the Portuguese star stepped up to thump home and send Juventus back to the top of the Serie A table.

 

What it means

Juventus remain the only unbeaten side in Serie A and victory takes them back to the top of the table, one point ahead of Inter. Genoa are just one point above the bottom three in 17th.

 

Dybala's star turn

Juventus were far from their fluent best, meaning Dybala really stood out in an excellent performance.

The Argentina star struck fear into Genoa every time he got the ball, his creativity and ability on the ball particularly eye-catching.

 

Cassata pays the price

Genoa's game plan when Dybala got the ball was obvious: foul him.

Cassata brought Dybala down twice in the first three minutes and was booked for the second, leaving him walking a tightrope for the remainder of the contest.

And the 22-year-old could not help himself, given a second yellow card in the 51st minute for pulling back ... Dybala.

 

What's next?

Juventus visit Torino for a much-anticipated derby on Saturday, while Genoa go in search of successive Serie A home wins for the first time since September last year.

Kylian Mbappe is the star attraction of the latest Team of the Week on FIFA Ultimate Team after he scored twice for Paris Saint-Germain in the 4-0 Classique win over Marseille on Sunday.

Although the Frenchman has had an injury-hit start to the season, he has still managed to net eight goals in nine appearances across all competitions, with PSG looking sharp.

He is not joined in the team by Jamie Vardy, however. The striker scored a hat-trick as Leicester City equalled the record for the biggest Premier League win when they demolished Southampton 9-0 on Friday.

Instead of the English forward, his Leicester team-mate Ayoze Perez – who also netted a treble – gets the nod, though he only takes a place among the substitutes, with Ben Chilwell the only Foxes star in the starting XI.

Below, we have the full squad of in-form cards that are now up for grabs online.

FUT Team of the Week

GK: Matz Sels (Strasbourg) – 82

CB: Domagoj Vida (Besiktas) – 83

CB: Nicolas Nkoulou (Torino) – 84

LB: Ben Chilwell (Leicester City) – 82

RM: Karim Bellarabi (Bayer Leverkusen) – 84

CM: Saul Niguez (Atletico Madrid) – 86

CDM: Fabinho (Liverpool) – 86

LW: Kylian Mbappe (Paris Saint-Germain) – 90

CAM: Yusuf Yazici (Lille) – 82

ST: Carlos Vela (Los Angeles FC) – 85

ST: Josip Ilicic (Atalanta) – 86

SUBSTITUTES

GK: Gabriel (Lecce) – 81

CB: Bernardo Espinosa (Espanyol) – 81

LM: Christian Pulisic (Chelsea) – 82

CAM: Calvin Stengs (AZ) – 81

RW: Ayoze Perez (Leicester City) – 82

ST: Karl Toko-Ekambi (Villarreal) – 82

ST: Aleksandar Mitrovic (Fulham) – 82

RESERVES

CAM: Zelimkhan Bakaev (Spartak Moscow) – 78

RM: Maicol Balanta (Independiente Santa Fe) – 75

LM: Amahl Pellegrino (Kristiansund) – 72

ST: Kodjo Fo-Doh Laba (Al Ain) – 79

ST: Eoin Doyle (Swindon Town) – 73

Napoli defender Kevin Malcuit has undergone surgery on the anterior cruciate ligament he damaged in Sunday's Serie A game against SPAL.

Malcuit left the pitch in tears after seriously injuring his right knee in the second half of the 1-1 draw at Stadio Paolo Mazza.

Scans confirmed the worst for the 28-year-old, who could now miss the rest of the season.

Napoli described the surgery as "perfectly successful" but Carlo Ancelotti will be forced to turn to a third right-back as first-choice Elseid Hysaj continues his recovery from a fractured sternum.

The left-sided Faouzi Ghoulam looked to be a stop-gap solution until he suffered a muscle problem in training earlier this week.

Napoli are back in action at home to Atalanta on Wednesday, ahead of a weekend trip to Roma.

AC Milan have to be realistic about their league position and accept they have not been good enough this season, boss Stefano Pioli has admitted.

The Rossoneri have won three of their opening nine Serie A matches and are just three points above the relegation zone ahead of Thursday's home clash with SPAL.

Pioli was brought in to replace Marco Giampaolo earlier this month but has collected only one point from a possible six.

Milan followed up a 2-2 draw with Lecce in Pioli's first match with a 2-1 loss to Roma on Sunday and the head coach has acknowledged his players have to start giving more on the pitch.

"We have to be realistic and admit this is not a positive moment for us, but we are better than what we showed on Sunday," he said at Wednesday's pre-match news conference.

"There's time to improve our standings and I want people who are fired up, motivated and want to prove themselves. If we are in this position, it means we've made mistakes. I need to see players who won't hold back.

"It's important to take it one game at a time, with the right battling spirit. We want to be the best when it comes to spirit and determination.

"If anyone has fears, it's time to put them to one side. There is much to be done, but if we believe in ourselves, then anything is possible."

Suso has been ever-present for Milan this term and has recently been criticised for a string of below-par displays, but Pioli has again defended the under-fire winger.

"I have no doubts on Suso’s quality. It's wrong to blame all of Milan's difficulties on just one player. Everyone must give more," he said.

"We want to build out from the back, but the problem against Roma was the lack of movement, which meant we had few passing options open for team-mates. We need to be more concentrated and make the right choice at the right time.

"The fans are not stupid - they can tell when a team is playing with the right spirit and effort. It's up to us to get the fans on our side. Playing good football represents an advantage, but if there's a characteristic we need in these next few games, it's spirit."

Rafael Leao has started both matches under Pioli but Krzysztof Piatek, a second-half substitute against Lecce and Roma, could return to the fold.

Hinting at a change from the 4-3-3 system he has used so far, Pioli said: "I chose Rafael against Roma and frankly expected more from him in that game. They could play together. I have to make the right choices at this moment for the team.

"I've never been wedded to a single tactical system in my career, so anything is possible. It's all about understanding the main characteristics of the squad and putting the strongest players in their best positions."

Cristiano Ronaldo has returned to Juventus' squad for their Serie A clash with Genoa, but Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic miss out through injury.

Portugal superstar Ronaldo was rested for Juve's trip to Lecce on Saturday, a decision that backfired as the Italian champions were held to a 1-1 draw.

Head coach Maurizio Sarri defended his decision to overlook Ronaldo for selection but has recalled the 34-year-old for Wednesday's home match against Genoa.

However, there is no place in the 22-man squad for Higuain, who came off worse in an aerial collision with Lecce goalkeeper Gabriel late in the match.

Pjanic has featured in every competitive game for Juve this campaign, meanwhile, but will miss out against Genoa after pulling up last time out, though the club have confirmed he did not suffer any muscular damage.

Aaron Ramsey is back after missing Juve's last three squads with a muscle injury, while Douglas Costa is also in contention following a seven-week absence.

Sarri's side trail Serie A leaders Inter by two points ahead of Wednesday's game in hand at Allianz Stadium.

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