Andrea Pirlo’s usual pre-match press conference of Atalanta’s clash had a unusual surprise for the Bianconeri fans
The Juventus manager revealed on his Saturday presser that Cristiano Ronaldo will be missing the encounter against La Dea with injury.
The Italian revealed that it would too risky to play the Portuguese superstar on Sunday afternoon, but nonetheless hopes to have him available once again ahead of the match against Parma on Wednesday – so thankfully, the injury is far from being a serious one.
“We have an important absentee,” said Pirlo at the start of his press conference as translated by Football Italia.
“Cristiano will not be taking part in the game due to a problem with his flexor. It would be too risky for us to bring him to Bergamo.
“We hope he can recover for Wednesday.”
“Cristiano’s issue arose after the last game. He wasn’t able to ‘push’ the way he wanted to in training this week and we prefer not to risk it. The international break didn’t help, he’s been playing a lot lately.
Therefore, Ronaldo’s unavailability will offer a chance for Paulo Dybala to start for the first time since January – probably alongside Alvaro Morata in attack.
“We worked hard during the week, knowing Atalanta have some very particular characteristics,” continued Pirlo as reported in another article also by Football Italia.
“They play a different style of football to other teams and we have prepared some countermeasures. I am feeling confident.
“There are so many talents I admire in the Atalanta squad, from the physicality of Duvan Zapata to the creativity of Josip Ilicic on to Matteo Pessina tying things together. There’s no point talking about individuals, tough.
“We had a good game against Atalanta last time, the attitude was good and we put pressure on them. Atalanta force you to play with intensity and I hope to see that again.”
This clash is considered to be an important one in the race for a spot in the Champions League group stage next season.
“We have a single objective in our minds and that is to finish as high up the table as possible. We have refocused onto this new target, which isn’t the one suited to Juventus, but unfortunately the gap has become a bit too big. Our aim now is to end the season on a high.”
“This is great news, but not just for football, as it means everything is starting to get back to normal. If the stadiums are full, it means people are feeling better,” concluded Pirlo.
Federico Bernardeschi is another player who is expected to miss the encounter as he is yet to be medically cleared after recently testing positive for Covid-19.