Ranieri looked calm but focused at today's press conference before the trip to Florence. The Manager will need to do without David Trezeguet on Sunday night and naturally the first questions from the journalists concerned the Frenchman's absence:
"There'll be a League break after this game, and then we'll have a very tough cycle of games: it'd be pointless to force his recovery now. I've kept him out in the qualifiers as precaution, but he told me he still feels pain, so it's better to rest him and have him available again in 15 days' time when he'll be fully fit".
"I have several other options: we signed a striker exactly for the purpose of overcoming situations like this. I've always said that all four strikers are to be considered first team regulars, so David's place will be taken by someone else who'll be equally as eager to do well".
Amauri or Iaquinta
"Amauri is good at playing for the team, he holds the ball up allowing team mates to come forward, whereas Iaquinta is good at attacking free space, so I have different options to choose from".
"In any case, our way of playing remains the same. The lads know that in the last thirty yards it's up to the single player's intuition, that's why I don't want to force creative players to play against their nature. They have set movements to make, yes, but it's up to the players to make them at the right time, according to their qualities and traits".
"We're going to face a team that have played the qualifiers so they're well-oiled like us. Fiorentina were reborn from Serie C2. The Della Valle family has built a very solid Club and they'd already qualified for the Champions League two years ago, even if in the end they didn't play in it for other reasons".
"The Della Valle project was indeed this: taking the team to the top but following a precise philosophy, focusing on fair play and respect for opponents. That's why the “third half” initiative they started didn't surprise me. I'm hoping it'll be a good, exciting game. I hope the fans come to the ground simply to cheer their teams and may the best one win".
"They're the same as last year, plus AC Milan. Fiorentina are in there too; last year they already faced the challenge of playing midweek as well as on the Sunday and they did well".
"Are we Inter Milan's main rivals? We're working to become that. You don't build everything in twelve or twenty-four months. We're equipping ourselves to keep up with the strongest teams in Europe".
"We've tried to improve our squad to face the two competitions. You saw the calendar from here ‘til December, we'll be playing every three days and naturally we needed a squad that could allow players to rest in turns".
Tiago and Iago
"He's coming to Florence. The door is never closed on anybody as far as I'm concerned; you saw it last year with Legrottaglie and, if Tiago should stay, I certainly wouldn't forget him. I wonder if he can come into his own when given more responsibilities".
"We've been following Iago, potentially he's a quality player. We need to make this sort of investment for the first team and for the junior team. Iago is technically very good, he needs to beef up because he has a slight build, but he has everything he needs to become a good player".
A look at Zenit
"They're a team with the right quality, the right determination. They play with a disguised 4-3-3 formation because they have five players at the back; they play like the Russian national team, they all defend and then go on the counter attack. They're physically strong and have a few very skilful players. We already knew how strong they were, even before seeing them against United".