Andrea Pirlo discusses his Juventus plans against Sampdoria, why they are ‘in no rush’ for Edin Dzeko, but Luis Suarez ‘is unlikely to be our centre-forward.’
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“I feel good, the important thing is that the lads feel good,” said Pirlo in his press conference, preparing for his first ever competitive game as a coach.
“We have enough players for tomorrow, we’ll see what to do in place of Alex Sandro, while we already knew Paulo Dybala and Matthijs de Ligt would miss this game.
“I have no doubts, just certainties. I am at Juventus and training a squad full of champions. Dejan Kulusevski and Luca Pellegrini already know Serie A football, whereas Weston McKennie and Arthur need to settle in, but there’s time.”
Pirlo is reportedly switching back to Antonio Conte’s old 3-5-2 formation, scrapping the 4-3-3 of predecessor Maurizio Sarri.
“I have my ideas, Sarri had his. In certain situations, they can also be similar. I too want to control the game and play attacking football, so the basic concepts remain the same.
“I expect it to be difficult tomorrow, as we know Claudio Ranieri is a very talented coach who proved it throughout his long career. We’ll try to find spaces between the lines, even if there won’t be many of them, to attack Sampdoria. At the same time, we must be wary of their counter-attacks.
"Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski will take it in turns, keeping an eye on each others' movement, to go into the centre-forward role, with players encouraged to push up from midfield too."
The Bianconeri had hoped to have Edin Dzeko in their squad by now, but Arkadiusz Milik’s move from Napoli to Roma is holding everything up.
“We are all waiting for a centre-forward, but there’s a long way to go in the transfer market and every team is dealing with similar problems. We are in no rush,” assured Pirlo.
Suarez had also been an option, but the coach seemingly shot down that idea for the Barcelona striker.
“It takes a long time to obtain an Italian passport, so it’s unlikely Suarez can be Juve’s centre-forward.”
Gonzalo Higuain and Blaise Matuidi have joined Inter Miami after terminating their contracts early, but what will happen with Sami Khedira, who is reportedly refusing to leave?
“Higuain had told us he wanted to move on, so we reached an agreement by mutual consent. Khedira is not yet fully recovered from injury, so when he is available, then we can see what is to be done.”