Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo has confirmed that Paulo Dybala will make his first start of the season against Hellas Verona today, while Weston McKennie will only make the bench after his Coronavirus escapade.
The Old Lady will be keen to get their Serie A title defence back on track after consecutive draws with Roma and Crotone, but did get a timely boost to their form in midweek.
Juve made the long trip to Ukraine to take on Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday, and came away with a dominant 2-0 win to open their Champions League campaign, and will be keen to build on that performance back in Italy today.
The manager has confirmed that he will be welcoming Dybala back into the team for his first start since taking charge of the team. De Ligt could well be line to return also, but the game comes too soon for Giorgio Chiellini.
“Tomorrow, Dybala will play. He had a virus, he didn’t train much and was not in the condition to play. But now he’s well and it’s right that he starts from the beginning”, Pirlo told his pre-match conference (as translated by Gianluca di Marzio).
“De Ligt is well. We must only wait for the approval from the medical staff, but the player is ready to play from both a physical and mental standpoint. The team is in good condition and, other than Chiellini, all will be available.”
The boss was then asked what the latest on Cristiano Ronaldo’s possible return, to which he replied: “Upon until yesterday there weren’t any updates. Once there are, we will communicate them. But even in the case of a negative swab, be won’t be available tomorrow.”
On tomorrow’s formation: “Chiesa surely won’t play, given he’s disqualified. For the rest, we will have many options available that we will evaluate based on our opponent. It’ll depend on who we want to play on the wings and attack. McKennie? He’s negative, we hope to have him on the bench.”
Without Chiesa we will lose a little of our width, but with Dybala in line to start we will likely start with two up top, which should see Ramsey return to a wider role.
Will Chiesa be missed today? Would Pirlo be starting Dybala if he didn’t think he was 100% ready to go?