Monday March 1 2021
Pirlo: 'Juve still in Scudetto race'

Andrea Pirlo said Juventus still ‘believe’ they can win the Scudetto and said Federico Chiesa will ‘not play as a second striker’ against Spezia.

Juventus come from a 1-1 draw with Hellas Verona last weekend and aim to bounce back in the title race against Spezia on Tuesday.

“Spezia are proving to be up for Serie A, having a great championship,” Pirlo said. “They have achieved great results against the big teams too. It will be a difficult match.

“It will be an important match for us, who must continue to fight for the Scudetto. We will have to play an intense game from the first minute.

“We know we have been caught on four occasions, but each match was different. We have analysed the mistakes made and we will try to avoid repeating them.”

Pirlo said Federico Chiesa will not be used as a second striker next to Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Federico Chiesa as a second striker is not conceivable,” he said. “There are no players like him in the squad, he’s playing well in his position and we will continue to use him there.

“We will evaluate Alvaro Morata tomorrow, and we’ll see if he can be on the bench.”

The coach hopes to have Fagioli back for the match against Spezia, admitted Weston McKennie ‘needs rest’ and said Arthur Melo is still out.

“Fagioli had an intestinal problem, let’s hope he’ll be better tomorrow,” Pirlo said. “McKennie is better, even if he needs a little rest.

“In an emergency period we need his contribution, even if it’s only for a certain number of minutes.

“There’s no news on Arthur, we hope to recover him as soon as possible.”

Pirlo stressed Juventus are not looking at the other teams above them in the table and doesn’t dwell on the points lost in recent weeks.

“We don’t look at who are above us, nor behind us, we concentrate on ourselves,” he said. “The goal must remain the same, there are many games and as long as there’s room to recover, we will be there.

“The initial goal was to win them all, we know we lost a few points, but that concerns the past. We have to look to the future and the future is called Spezia.”

Pirlo claimed his squad believes they can win the Scudetto.

“I wouldn’t say we can chase the Scudetto if I didn’t know that the team thinks so too,” he continued. “I know the lads believe it, they train well and want to go back to winning the title and this makes me feel comfortable."