Tuesday January 26 2021
Pirlo warns SPAL dangerous for Juve

Andrea Pirlo warns Juventus that their Coppa Italia quarter-final opponents SPAL are ‘only Serie B level on paper’ and there is the risk of ‘embarrassment.’

It kicks off on Wednesday at 19.45 GMT, the winners go on to face Milan or Inter in the semi-finals.

“There are many dangers in this fixture, because we are facing a team that is only Serie B level on paper,” the coach told JTV.

“If we look at the other countries, we can see that Bayern Munich went out of their cup competition to a second division side, so did Real Madrid.

“We have to go into this knowing it’s a difficult match. Our aim is to get through to the next phase, so we need the utmost concentration. SPAL have done really well in the Coppa Italia and Serie B this season, we cannot underestimate them.”

SPAL knocked Monza, Crotone and Sassuolo out of the tournament to remain the only Serie B side in the quarter-finals.

“They are a very good side who like to play football. SPAL tend to use three defenders, but at times three strikers or two support players for the centre-forward. They know how to play and we must be at our best to avoid embarrassment.”

Pirlo confirms Rodrigo Bentancur will rest after he “played almost the entire Bologna game with a hole in his foot, we had to put three stitches in there and he really sacrificed himself for the team.”

Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral will start, with Gigi Buffon back in goal.

“Gigi had some problems over the last few weeks, but they are all resolved and he will play tomorrow.

“The campaign has been pretty positive so far. We could’ve had a few extra points, but coming off such a tiring season, a few hiccups were normal. We’re in the running for every tournament and our objective is to go all the way.”