Saturday January 23 2021
Pirlo uses Juventus 'enthusiasm'

Andrea Pirlo hopes Juventus can ride their Supercoppa enthusiasm against Bologna, has some positive injury news and embraces the tactical versatility of his players.

It kicks off on Sunday at 11.30 GMT, click here for a match preview.

The last week has been full of ups and downs for the Bianconeri, as they lost 2-0 to Inter in Serie A, then beat Napoli by the same scoreline to win the Supercoppa.

“It helps to win and the Supercoppa gave us great enthusiasm and euphoria, which allowed us to train well despite the fatigue over the last few days. Our minds are already on future objectives and we are ready for tomorrow’s match,” said the coach in his press conference.

“It doesn’t change my enthusiasm, as I’ve felt the same from Day One. Winning a trophy doesn’t change anything for me, I want to win more.

“We’ve had some ups and downs, just like every other team this season. It’s due to the packed fixture list and lack of preparation. Everyone is feeling mental fatigue, it’s not easy to stay concentrated for 90 minutes every three days, but are working on it.”

Juan Cuadrado returned from COVID and was Man of the Match in the Supercoppa, but Matthijs de Ligt and Alex Sandro are still out.

“Giorgio Chiellini had a small back problem in the warm-up against Napoli. We’ve got almost everyone back, Merih Demiral trained with the squad and is therefore available.

“I’ll choose between Chiellini and Demiral tomorrow, while Radu Dragusin might play in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.”

There were some interesting tactical tweaks against Napoli, using Federico Chiesa on the left flank, with Dejan Kulusevski and Cristiano Ronaldo upfront.

“Chiesa can happily play on the left or the right. Kulusevski can cover several different roles, but at this stage in his career, perhaps he feels freer as a second striker.”

Bologna coach Sinisa Mihajlovic said in his press conference that he was a better free kick taker than Pirlo. Does the Juve man agree?

“You just need to look at the statistics to decide that.”

Milan and Inter are battling for the Winter Champions title this evening, so who does Pirlo see as the Scudetto favourites?

“There are five or six teams in the running, but the side to beat right now is Milan because they are top. We’ve got a lot of head-to-head clashes from now until April, so we’ll see where we all are in a few months’ time.”