After his spectacular cameo against Napoli in midweek, most Juventus fans were hoping to see Paulo Dybala starting the match against Genoa on Sunday afternoon.
Nonetheless, coach Andrea Pirlo has all but ruled out this possibility during his pre-match press conference on Saturday.
The young manager believes that the returning Argentine needs to be slowly reintegrated into the squad, rather than being risked from the get-go.
The former Milan midfielder also emphasized on the importance of maintaining the form his side showed against Gennaro Gattuso’s men on Wednesday.
“It’s perhaps much easier to find the right spirit in a big match like Napoli, but we need the same attitude even against smaller clubs, starting from tomorrow,” said Pirlo during his customary press conference.
“We need to find some consistency and that means facing tomorrow’s game with ferocity. Beating Napoli is meaningless unless we follow it up with the same performance against Genoa.”
The tactician opted to field Gianluigi Buffon in the starting lineup in midweek, but confirmed that Szczesny will return to the pitch.
“I can confirm Wojciech Szczesny will start tomorrow. I don’t think Paulo Dybala will start, because he was out for three months, so he needs another slightly longer spell as a substitute first.”
“I’ve always said Dybala is an important player and unfortunately I haven’t had him at my disposal very much this season. Let’s look at the present, because that is more important than the future.
“He still has a year left on his contract, so we will have him here next season. Dybala is a player who makes the difference. I do hope to be able to use Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Morata and Dybala together at some point. I can say it’s probable Dejan Kulusevski will start tomorrow.”
Pirlo only had words of praise for Federico Chiesa who has been one of the main stars of the current campaign.
“Chiesa is excellent in one-on-one situations, but he can still improve in situations and controlling the tempo. He is hungry and eager to learn, which is wonderful to know.” Concluded the manager.
Juventus have beaten Genoa earlier in the league this season in a 3-1 result, while also knocking the Grifone out of the Coppa Italia in the round of 16 with a 3-2 victory after extra-time.