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Pirlo warns of SPAL threat to Juve

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Coach's comments ahead of Coppa Italia clash

Andrea Pirlo, head coach of Juventus FC, gestures during the... Photo by Nicolò Campo/LightRocket via Getty Images

Juventus take on SPAL in the Coppa Italia quarter finals, and coach Andrea Pirlo is well aware of the dangers the Serie B side poses after they eliminated Monza, Crotone and Sassuolo.

"There are many dangers in this fixture, because we are facing a team that is only Serie B level on paper.

“If we look at the other countries, we can see that Bayern Munich went out of their cup competition to a second division side, so did Real Madrid.

“We have to go into this knowing it’s a difficult match. Our aim is to get through to the next phase, so we need the utmost concentration. SPAL have done really well in the Coppa Italia and Serie B this season, we cannot underestimate them.”

SPAL have made it this far playing an attacking brand of football that has paid off dividends for them so far, and they sit in fifth in the Serie B table.

“They are a very good side who like to play football. SPAL tend to use three defenders, but at times three strikers or two support players for the centre-forward. They know how to play and we must be at our best to avoid embarrassment.”

Rodrigo Bentancur will get a break today.

“He played almost the entire Bologna game with a hole in his foot, we had to put three stitches in there and he really sacrificed himself for the team.”

Pirlo indicated that defenders Matthijs de Ligt and Merih Demiral will start the game in front of Gigi Buffon.

“Gigi had some problems over the last few weeks, but they are all resolved and he will play tomorrow."

Pirlo appears to have steered his side through a tough phase and he continues to maintain a cheerful outlook.

“The campaign has been pretty positive so far. We could’ve had a few extra points, but coming off such a tiring season, a few hiccups were normal. We’re in the running for every tournament and our objective is to go all the way.”