Speaking during the pre-match press conference, coach Andrea Pirlo reiterated the danger that tomorrow’s opponents pose coming off a 6-0 spanking of Fiorentina. The fact that Juve’s first loss of the season was a 3-0 hiding at the hands of the Viola will not have been missed either,
“Napoli are a very strong team with a lot of pace and technique in the side, so we must be wary of them.
“They have a defence that works very tightly, so we must make the most of the scoring opportunities that we create.”
The injury list continues to grow, with Merih Demiral joining Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado, Alex Sandro and Matthijs de Ligt on the sidelines.
“Gigi Buffon has a few problems, so Wojciech Szczesny will start in goal. It’s an important match, a Final, it comes after a bad defeat in Serie A, so we are eager to get back out there with determination and hunger to bring home the trophy.”
The 2-0 loss against Inter could easily have been much worse too.
“When you lose like that, you wouldn’t repeat anything, so it’s all a learning experience. We’re determined to turn over a new leaf, cancel out Sunday’s game and fortunately we’re back on the field straight away, so we can prove that we’re not the team we saw at San Siro. I didn’t say we were afraid of Inter, just that we were timorous compared to the attitude we should’ve had.
“This is a difficult moment, there are many over the course of a season, especially after losing an important game. It’s an advantage for us that we are immediately back on the pitch challenging to bring home a trophy.
“I am disappointed for the players, especially as some were attacked unfairly. I’d prefer for the critics to attack me rather than them. There’s no turning point, no crossroads, there’s just a Final to win and that’s why we are here.”
Could Dejan Kulusevski be in the starting lineup instead of Alvaro Morata to give the team more dynamism?
“It depends on how we want to play and approach the game. I have an idea in my head, but we’ll see how the players recover and who will start.”
Can Juventus’ motivation can be questioned after winning nine consecutive Serie A titles?
“If a team won nine years in a row, that’s not a coincidence. It was earned with hard work and we have the same ambition, because Juve will always challenge for trophies, and we have the same hunger to win a 10th consecutive title.
“The project is to get the best out of every individual player and for Juventus. There have been a few slip-ups, but that’s inevitable.”