SPAL coach Pasquale Marino expects Andrea Pirlo to achieve great things as a coach, but ‘anything is possible’ against Juventus in the Coppa Italia quarter-final.
It kicks off on Wednesday in Turin at 19.45 GMT, with the tie decided after 90 minutes, extra time or even penalties.
The winners will go on to face Inter or Milan in the semi-finals, but SPAL are already the only Serie B side still in the final eight.
“Just as we did with Sassuolo, we’ll again try to rotate the squad where we can, because the priority remains Serie B, despite this being an important game too,” said the coach in his press conference.
“I can confirm Alberto Paloschi will not start, because he needs rest, so Sergio Floccari will play. We’ll evaluate everyone’s condition and make our decisions against a very strong side. Marco D’Alessandro is still injured.”
It has been said that SPAL have nothing to lose and that is an important strength in this Coppa Italia clash.
“That’s probably true. We have to clear our minds, because when we play to enjoy our football, we are a great team to watch. If we go to Turin feeling timorous, we will certainly get slapped around.
“We’re playing against one of the best teams in the world, but there’s no harm in dreaming. We’ll play the way we did against Sassuolo, then anything is possible in football.”
Andrea Pirlo won the first piece of silverware of his coaching career, beating Napoli 2-0 for the Supercoppa last week.
“I am convinced that in the long-run, the quality at Juventus will emerge,” continued Marino.
“They are taking time to get into gear, which is normal under a new coach and with quite a few absentees over the course of the season.
“Despite the difficulties, Pirlo has given them a clear identity and tactical organisation, then of course he can count on the talent of his individuals.
“Pirlo was a fantastic player who worked with the best coaches, so especially in that midfield role, I think he was already thinking like a coach then and absorbing all these lessons. The vision he had as a player can also help him in his new career as a coach.”