After losing Cristiano Ronaldo to injury, Andrea Pirlo assures Juventus have prepared ‘countermeasures’ to Atalanta. ‘They have particular characteristics.’
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The press conference began with the shock revelation that Ronaldo has a muscular issue, so will not even be making the trip to Bergamo.
Instead, Paulo Dybala will start, presumably alongside Alvaro Morata.
“We worked hard during the week, knowing Atalanta have some very particular characteristics,” continued Pirlo.
“They play a different style of football to other teams and we have prepared some countermeasures. I am feeling confident.
“There are so many talents I admire in the Atalanta squad, from the physicality of Duvan Zapata to the creativity of Josip Ilicic on to Matteo Pessina tying things together. There’s no point talking about individuals, tough.
“We had a good game against Atalanta last time, the attitude was good and we put pressure on them. Atalanta force you to play with intensity and I hope to see that again.”
There is just one point separating Juve in third place from Atalanta in fourth, and Champions League qualification is wide open for several clubs.
“We have a single objective in our minds and that is to finish as high up the table as possible. We have refocused onto this new target, which isn’t the one suited to Juventus, but unfortunately the gap has become a bit too big. Our aim now is to end the season on a high.”
These teams will also face off in the Coppa Italia Final next month and it could well have a crowd in the stands of the Mapei Stadium, as the Italian Government is opening up the arenas from May 1.
“This is great news, but not just for football, as it means everything is starting to get back to normal. If the stadiums are full, it means people are feeling better.”