Pirlo: ‘Bonucci and Dybala are not available’

by | Feb 16, 2021 14:22 | Latest

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo confirmed Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala will not play against FC Porto and expects a ‘complicated’ game in Portugal.

The Champions League is back and Juventus will play the Portuguese champions over two legs in the last 16 of the competition.

Pirlo said the Old Lady must be ‘patient’ against Sergio Conceicao’s men.

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo confirmed Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala will not play against FC Porto and expects a ‘complicated’ game in Portugal.

The Champions League is back and Juventus will play the Portuguese champions over two legs in the last 16 of the competition.

Pirlo said the Old Lady must be ‘patient’ against Sergio Conceicao’s men.

“It will be a very complicated game, they are a team that defends well,” Pirlo said at a press conference. “Very compact, Atletico Madrid style, with two lines of four.

“It will take patience and we can’t force the plays because they have good players to counterattack.”

Pirlo ‘dreams of going all the way’ in the Champions League, as Juventus aim for their first success since 1995-96.

“The Champions League is a particular competition, the difference from the championship is big,” he continued.

“There are many teams who want to win, but it depends on how you get there mentally and physically.

“We are at the level of the others, some maybe have a bigger advantage, but when you reach the knockout stages, everyone dreams of going all the way.”

Napoli stopped the unbeaten run with a 1-0 win at the Stadio Diego Maradona, but Pirlo felt the Bianconeri did well against the Partenopei.

“We start the season with the desire to win everything,” Pirlo said. “We are halfway through the season and we are still in the running on all fronts.

“Saturday was a good match and only the result was missing.”

Pirlo confirmed Leonardo Bonucci and Paulo Dybala are not ready to play but said they will travel with the rest of the group.

“They are called up, they will travel with us,” he said. “Bonucci and Dybala are not available, while Ramsey is.

“They will travel with us because they want to be with the team.”

The coach admitted Alvaro Morata is going through a difficult moment and will decide between him or Dejan Kulusevski for the role next to Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Morata is not in the best period, but we know him. Sometimes he has these periods where he doesn’t do well,” Pirlo said.

“In the last period he has had some problems but he’s happy, he’s fine and he just needs to score goals again.

“They are both doing well, they have played great games and they are both available. Tomorrow we will evaluate who will start the game.”

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