Juventus take on Atalanta tomorrow in what is anticipated to be one of the most biggest games of the season for many football fans. La Dea have come a long way very quickly and have earned recognition as one of the more exciting teams in the game, and Juve coach Andrea Pirlo is very aware of the threat they pose.
There has been some chatter of conflict between Gian Piero Gasperini and key player Alejandro Papu Gomez, but the veteran player is in the squad to face the Bianconeri and Pirlo did not address any of that.
“It’s a difficult game against a very strong team, one that has been a reality of Italian football for several years now.
“We have seen their progress not only in Serie A, but also in the Champions League, so it’ll be tough and we must face them with the same attitude as a top club.
“I am not amazed by their consistency, because they’ve been doing this for a few years now thanks to the work of the coach and club. They are a reality and therefore we owe them great respect.
“Gian Piero Gasperini started out here at the Juventus youth academy and has done well pretty much everywhere he went. He has a very specific way of playing and his ideas are paying off with results.”
Juventus look very different after undergoing some style changes from Massimiliano Allegri and Maurizio Sarri in recent seasons, despite continuing to lift the Scudetto every time.
“More than results, we need the consistency in attitude and concentration, so we face every game the same way, whether it’s in the Champions League or Serie A. When you have the right spirit and attitude, the results tend to go your way.
“The team has improved above all in its tendency to seek a result through an aggressive approach, trying to get the ball back quickly and keep the game under control. We do have to improve our technical aspects, as we misplace too many passes and that needs a lot of work.
“The main thing I keep talking to the squad about is concentration, because we do still get distracted at certain moments of the game. If we’re not plugged in for 95 minutes, the games are going to get complicated. If you don’t face every match with the right concentration, you risk ugly surprises.”
The Champions League Round of 16 draw was conducted early yesterday, and Juve will face off against Portuguese side FC Porto in 2021.
“It’s a fair draw. When we reach this stage of the tournament, all the opponents are tough. We respect Porto and must face them with the right attitude. There’s time for that, though, we have to focus on the league now,”