Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo revealed how he plans to use Cristiano Ronaldo once his star attacker returns.
Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Hellas Verona saw Juventus drop points for the second time in succession without Ronaldo.
The Portuguese superstar has been in isolation since testing positive for COVID-19 on October 13. He reportedly tested positive again last week, ruling him out of the Verona game and possibly Wednesday’s Champions League showdown with Barcelona.
His absence has been felt, with Juve winning just one of their three games without their star man. Considering Alvaro Morata’s fine form of late and Paulo Dybala’s return, however, fans wondered how Ronaldo would fit in once he returned.
Now Pirlo has answered this question by revealing plans to plot Cristiano on the left side of a front three; the same position he dominated in during his legendary Real Madrid career.
Andrea Pirlo on fitting in Ronaldo with Dybala and Morata:
🗣 "We are thinking of playing them as a front three, with Ronaldo in his classic centre-left position." pic.twitter.com/eQH92LiJsh
— Goal (@goal) October 25, 2020
“We are thinking to play them as a front-three,” said the Juventus boss as quoted by Gianluca Di Marzio. “With Ronaldo in his classic center-left position.”
Pirlo revealed in a press conference on Saturday that Ronaldo is waiting for the results of another COVID-19 test. If negative, he could feature against Barcelona on Wednesday.
🎙 @Pirlo_official's meeting with the journalists has begun.
"We are well. Apart from @chiellini, they're all available. We still await @Cristiano's swap test results. For now, there's no news. #AlexSandro is recovering, he is working calmly."#JuveVerona pic.twitter.com/MeVYvLM9jj
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 24, 2020
Another worry is Leonardo Bonucci, who has been struggling with a fitness problem since last week’s 2-0 Champions League win over Dynamo Kiev.
The 33-year-old had to come off in the final 15 minutes against Verona, with Gianluca Frabotta replacing the veteran center-back.
“He had already something during the Kiev match,” Pirlo said on Bonucci. “We’ll evaluate.”
Substitute Dejan Kulusevski scored the equalizing goal for Juventus against Verona to salvage a point in Turin.
The reigning Serie A champions are now fifth in the standings on nine points from five games.