Juventus are currently in a hectic part of the season with two games a week just about every week, and will travel to Portugal tomorrow to resume their quest for the Champions League trophy with a first leg clash against Porto.
Speaking ahead of the game, coach Andrea Pirlo complimented the organization of the hosts, and knows that his side cannot become too impetuous tomorrow.
“It will be a very complicated game, they are a team that defends well. Very compact, Atletico Madrid style, with two lines of four.
“It will take patience and we can’t force the plays because they have good players to counterattack.”
Despite their decade of domestic dominance, Juve have not been able to translate that into success on the continental stage and Pirlo wants to lift the ‘Big Ears’ once again, but this time as manager.
“The Champions League is a particular competition, the difference from the league championship is big. There are many teams who want to win, but it depends on how you get there mentally and physically.
“We are at the level of the others, some maybe have a bigger advantage, but when you reach the knockout stages, everyone dreams of going all the way.”
Was the loss at Napoli the end of what had otherwise been a good stretch for Juve?
“We start the season with the desire to win everything. We are halfway through the season and we are still in the running on all fronts.
“Saturday was a good match and only the result was missing.”
Juan Cuadrado is out for some time after picking up an injury over the weekend, and now Pirlo confirmed that Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala would make the trip but are not in contention to play.
“They are called up, they will travel with us. Bonucci and Dybala are not available, while Aaron Ramsey is.
“They will travel with us because they want to be with the team.”
The goals have dried up for Alvaro Morata, and Pirlo will make a decision on whether the Spaniard or Dejan Kulusevski would accompany Cristiano Ronaldo up top.
“Morata is not in the best period, but we know him. Sometimes he has these periods where he doesn’t do well.
“In the last period he has had some problems but he’s happy, he’s fine and he just needs to score goals again.
“They are both doing well, they have played great games and they are both available. Tomorrow we will evaluate who will start the game.”