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Pirlo: All the matches are decisive for Juventus

Coach’s comments ahead of Juventus clash against Lazio

Andrea Pirlo head coach of Juventus FC during the Serie A... Photo by Alberto Gandolfo/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images

Juventus face a big test to see if they can remain in the Scudetto race tomorrow when they take on an inconsistent Lazio side who usually seem to reserve their best for playing the Bianconeri.

Speaking ahead of the game, coach Andrea Pirlo insisted that his side are taking one game and one battle at a time.

“Lazio are a great team that have been playing together for several years. They have a well-defined game, and the results speak for them. We know we’ll face a team that will fight to get to the top.

“We are preparing for the match in the best possible way, knowing their characteristics and we know it won’t be easy.

“All the matches are decisive for Juventus. The present is tomorrow’s match, we will concentrate with all our strength to win and we’ll only think about Porto after that.”

While it looks like he could have some reinforcements back just in time, Juve were struck another blow with now Rodrigo Bentancur testing positive for COVID-19.

“This morning, some of the unavailable players have partly trained with the team, we still have one day to recover someone.

“It’s a shame that Bentacur is absent, we will have to invent something to put the best line-up on the pitch.”

Much as he would like to, Pirlo admitted he was simply unable to give Cristiano Ronaldo a break.

“When you play a lot of games, a day or two of rest is good. It also applies to Cristiano.

“Now that we are short up front, he has gritted his teeth and will do it for as long as we need it. He has shown and continues to demonstrate his great professionalism.”

Juventus are still in contention for every one of the three competitions they started in, even though the Scudetto appears to be slipping away from them.

“The matches are all important, tomorrow’s game is also important for the table. The enthusiasm is there, because we are going through a period of tough and important games. And it will always be there.

“In the standings, the situation is the same as last week. We must be ready to not make mistakes in case the ones above do.

“We are fighting on all fronts and as long as there’s hope, we will have to give our all to try to win the championship.

“Then, if the others never make mistakes and are better at it, we will compliment them at the end.”

Pirlo acknowledges that his side need to play intelligently with how limited resources are.

“We started a project, the judgements often change from game to game. We are calm, we know what we must do, and we move on.

“We have to play a smart game tomorrow, knowing that we are in a delicate period and we are not at 100 per cent.

“It will be important to manage every situation and every play well, because you won’t be able to play at 100 for 90 minutes.”