Palermo take on Juventus today, so director Pietro Lo Monaco is looking forward to “a manly battle” even if home advantage will be wiped out.
Coach Gian Piero Gasperini had been announced for the Press conference, but Lo Monaco surprisingly took over instead.
“It was a decision made by the club and certainly not due to any problems the Coach has,” he explained.
“Andrea Pirlo is a key player for Juventus, but their real extra weapon is battling spirit and grit. Pirlo brings the quality. It is going to be a tough, manly battle, but we want to get a result against anyone and in any situation.”
Home advantage might be a problem, as figures suggest 20,000 of the 30,000 tickets sold at the Stadio Barbera so far have been bought by Juventus fans. There is a huge Bianconeri support in Sicily and they are taking the opportunity to see their favourite team up close.
“I hope our fans at the stadium can make enough noise to triple their impact.”
Fabrizio Miccoli returns from suspension, although his future remains up in the air, as his contract expires in June.
“We are in a stand-by phase, as there are some situations to evaluate. He wants time to reflect and we want to continue our rapport.
“Regardless of the number of years on the renewal, we must remember this will be the last contract of Miccoli’s career, so money is not the issue.
“The important thing now is to stay close to the team and help Palermo get into a better position. We want a competitive Palermo that can continue to grow.”
Palermo squad for Juventus: Benussi, Brichetto, Ujkani; Cetto, Garcia, Labrin, Milanovic, Morganella, Munoz, Pisano, Von Bergen; Arevalo Rios, Barreto, Bertolo, Brienza, Donati, Giorgi, Ilicic, Kurtic, Viola, Zahavi; Budan, Dybala, Miccoli