Juventus have a real chance to build on the high of winning the Supercoppa midweek by gaining some ground on both Milan sides who dropped points this weekend. Previewing the Bologna game this weekend, coach Andrea Pirlo reiterated his desire to win the Scudetto.
“It helps to win and the Supercoppa gave us great enthusiasm and euphoria, which allowed us to train well despite the fatigue over the last few days. Our minds are already on future objectives and we are ready for tomorrow’s match,” said the coach in his press conference.
“It doesn’t change my enthusiasm, as I’ve felt the same from Day One. Winning a trophy doesn’t change anything for me, I want to win more.
“We’ve had some ups and downs, just like every other team this season. It’s due to the packed fixture list and lack of preparation. Everyone is feeling mental fatigue, it’s not easy to stay concentrated for 90 minutes every three days, but are working on it.”
Juan Cuadrado returned midweek from COVID (and now will be joined by Matthijs de Ligt who was pronounced COVID-free today) but fellow fullback Alex Sandro is still out.
“Giorgio Chiellini had a small back problem in the warm-up against Napoli. We’ve got almost everyone back, Merih Demiral trained with the squad and is therefore available.
“I’ll choose between Chiellini and Demiral tomorrow, while Radu Dragusin might play in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday.”
Against Napoli, Dejan Kulusevski played alongside Cristiano Ronaldo in attack while Federico Chiesa was on the left wing. Was that something Pirlo would continue to use?
“Chiesa can happily play on the left or the right. Kulusevski can cover several different roles, but at this stage in his career, perhaps he feels freer as a second striker.”
Milan are the ‘winter champions’, would Pirlo say they are favorites to stay ahead of the pack come the end of the season?
“There are five or six teams in the running, but the side to beat right now is Milan because they are top. We’ve got a lot of head-to-head clashes from now until April, so we’ll see where we all are in a few months’ time.”