Pirlo: ‘Juve duty to pressure Inter’

Andrea Pirlo says Juventus have the ‘duty’ to put pressure on leaders Inter, is without Alex Sandro against Benevento and wants to see ‘the overall play improve.’

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“It’s an important game and comes just before a break for international duty, so it’s possible minds will wander towards what’s happening next week,” said the coach in his press conference.

“However, this is a fundamental match for our campaign, we are up against a team in a good period of form, I know their coach well and he’ll come here trying to get a result.”

Pirlo was teammates with Pippo Inzaghi both for Milan and within the Italy squad that won the 2006 World Cup.

“I haven’t spoken to Pippo lately, but I always follow his progress with affection. He did so well to win the Serie B title last year and is proving himself to be an excellent coach.”

Juve are without Paulo Dybala, Aaron Ramsey, Merih Demiral and Alex Sandro, while Rodrigo Bentancur has recovered from COVID, but Juan Cuadrado is suspended.

“Gigi Buffon is feeling better, he trained and we’ll see if he will play tomorrow. We are all waiting for Dybala, who will have a week or two more to work in time for his return.

“Alvaro Morata is fine and will start, as will Dejan Kulusevski. I was impressed with the tactical approach we took against Cagliari, but I had no doubts that it would. When everyone sacrifices themselves in both defence and attack, it all becomes easier.

“I want to see our overall play improve. We’ll have more time to work in training now, to whittle down certain mechanisms that simply take time to develop. We’ll concentrate on organising the play, as we have the squad to improve our quality of football.”

Leaders Inter won’t play this weekend, as their game with Sassuolo tonight was postponed due to a COVID outbreak within the Nerazzurri squad.

“It is our duty to put pressure on Inter, as we have the opportunity to close the gap, but it all depends on us. We asked for information and accepted it. Different things have been done in this case compared to other situations.

“It happens during a positive moment for Inter, who will also be able to keep hold of their players rather than send them on international duty. In that sense, they were fortunate.”

Pirlo was also asked about the on-going reports regarding Cristiano Ronaldo’s future following Champions League elimination.

“Ronaldo has another year on his contract and we are happy he can continue playing with us. On a technical and tactical level, we haven’t even thought about the future.”