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Pirlo: I'm training a Juventus squad of champions

Coach's comments ahead of Juventus' season opener

Juventus Press Conference Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

Juventus start their latest campaign to win the Scudetto for an unprecedented tenth time with a home game against Sampdoria on Sunday.

Speaking during his pre-match conference, coach Andrea Pirlo talked about how his side were doing ahead of the game.

“I feel good, the important thing is that the lads feel good.

“We have enough players for tomorrow, we’ll see what to do in place of Alex Sandro, while we already knew Paulo Dybala and Matthijs de Ligt would miss this game."

Pirlo is no doubts about what he is here to accomplish.

“I have no doubts, just certainties. I am at Juventus and training a squad full of champions.

"Dejan Kulusevski and Luca Pellegrini already know Serie A football, whereas Weston McKennie and Arthur need to settle in, but there’s time.”

A lot of speculation has gone into what formation Pirlo will use, and it looks like it'll be a 3-5-2 after all.

“I have my ideas, Sarri had his. In certain situations, they can also be similar. I too want to control the game and play attacking football, so the basic concepts remain the same."

Speaking about opponents Sampdoria, Pirlo added:

“I expect it to be difficult tomorrow, as we know Claudio Ranieri is a very talented coach who proved it throughout his long career. We’ll try to find spaces between the lines, even if there won’t be many of them, to attack Sampdoria. At the same time, we must be wary of their counter-attacks."

With two up top, who will be playing as lead striker?

“Cristiano Ronaldo and Dejan Kulusevski will take it in turns, keeping an eye on each others’ movement, to go into the centre-forward role, with players encouraged to push up from midfield too.”

Juve are widely expected to sign a striker or two, but as of now nothing is confirmed as yet.

“We are all waiting for a centre-forward, but there’s a long way to go in the transfer market and every team is dealing with similar problems. We are in no rush."

The Luis Suarez rumours have been going on for long enough.

“It takes a long time to obtain an Italian passport, so it’s unlikely Suarez can be Juve’s centre-forward.”

On Sami Khedira, who is reportedly refusing to leave Juve:

“Gonzalo Higuain had told us he wanted to move on, so we reached an agreement by mutual consent. Khedira is not yet fully recovered from injury, so when he is available, then we can see what is to be done.”