Bonucci out of Coppa Italia final but Dybala available, Pirlo confirms

By Sports Desk May 18, 2021

Juventus will be without Leonardo Bonucci for the Coppa Italia final against Atalanta, Andrea Pirlo has confirmed.

The centre-back missed the weekend's 3-2 win over Serie A champions Inter with a knee injury that keeps him sidelined for Wednesday’s game.

Juve will have Paulo Dybala available, though, and Pirlo admits he is facing some difficult decisions when it comes to the composition of his forward line.

On Bonucci, the Juventus boss said: "[He] has a knee problem and won't be available tomorrow. We have several solutions for tomorrow."

Dybala also failed to appear in that game, remaining rooted to the bench as Juventus secured a much-needed victory despite losing Rodrigo Bentancur to a 55th-minute red card.

However, the Argentina international is fully fit and could come back into the starting XI in Reggio Emilia.

Pirlo added: "[He] is fine. He played a good game against Sassuolo, but there were no conditions for him to enter on Saturday. He is available and ready to play.

"All the attacking players are doing well, so we will then decide who to start from the beginning."

Juventus' two Serie A meetings with Atalanta this season brought them a home draw and an away defeat.

And Pirlo expects another big test from a team who have continued to grow under Gian Piero Gasperini this term.

He continued: "Atalanta forces you to pick up the pace, we know it and we are ready to face it. I don't think it will be a very different match from the other two. 

“We earned the final with two hard-fought matches against Inter. We really want to bring this trophy home.”

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    Massimiliano Allegri paid tribute to departing heroes Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala, whose Turin farewells ended in a 2-2 draw against Lazio.

    The first half was a celebration, as Dusan Vlahovic put the hosts up 1-0 just 10 minutes in before Alvaro Morata doubled the advantage after 36 minutes.

    An Alex Sandro own goal set up a tense finish, though, before Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored a dramatic 96th-minute equaliser to put a slight dampener on an emotional evening at the Allianz Stadium.

    Despite seeing his side held at home, Allegri only wanted to focus the impact of Chiellini and Dybala to the Bianconeri.

    "Tonight was a wonderful evening, full of emotions – the evening of Chiellini and Dybala," he told Sky Sport Italia.

    "One stops and has given a lot to world football, out of passion and love of work. A few videos of Chiellini should be sent to Coverciano [Italy's main youth training centre] to show how he defends.

    "On a personal and human level, he also left a lot to me when I arrived at Juventus. He introduced me to Juventus and helped me. 

    "Dybala was an important player for seven years, I raised him because he was a child and the fans gave a well-deserved tribute. All with great class.

    "He has grown a lot, he arrived as a kid, he won the job. He has done great things and I wish him the best. There was so much emotion that I think talking about something else has little value."

    Touching on the future of the club, Allegri pointed to some exciting internal development, as well as his theory on what is required at different stages of the season.

    "The ideas are clear, then the market can develop in various ways," he said.

    "We have to start from the base this year – many will improve like Vlahovic and [Denis] Zakaria. 

    "[Fabio] Miretti played with personality and vertically, which drives me crazy. Morata played a good game, the good foundations are there. 

    "The matches up to October travel at certain rhythms, from October to March to others. As a child I used to say that when the daisies bloom, the rhythms drop and you need players of great technique. 

    "The players must be chosen when they go fast, then to win they must be fast and with great technique."

  • Chiellini says time is right for Juventus departure, reveals World Cup blow influenced decision Chiellini says time is right for Juventus departure, reveals World Cup blow influenced decision

    Giorgio Chiellini asserted it was the right time to end his Juventus career after making his final home appearance for the club, revealing Italy's failure to reach the Qatar World Cup influenced his decision.

    Chiellini played the first 17 minutes of a Serie A clash with Lazio on Monday, in which Juve threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2.

    First-half goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Alvaro Morata looked set to ensure the Bianconeri marked the Allianz Stadium swansong of Chiellini – and Paulo Dybala – with a win, only for Sergej Milinkovic-Savic to equalise with the final kick of the game after Alex Sandro put through his own net.

    The 37-year-old defender, who has won 20 trophies during his incredible career with the Turin giants, has made 392 top-flight appearances for the club, a tally bettered only by Gianluigi Buffon (489) and Alessandro Del Piero (467).

    With Juventus guaranteed to finish fourth in Serie A after enduring a frustrating season, which also saw them lose the Coppa Italia final to Inter, Chiellini said the time had come for the Bianconeri's young players to take centre stage.

    "The decision came in months, weeks, not days," he told Sky Sports Italia. "I have always said that I would like to leave at a high level, and I succeeded. 

    "It was a difficult year, for Juventus and for me, but in the matches I managed, I played at my level. 

    "All this led me to leave now, to leave room for young people. Juve need to restart, and young people have to take responsibility and mature. I helped to clip some people's wings, now it's right for them to fly alone. 

    "I will cheer for them from near or far, and I made this decision with joy and serenity."

    The legendary Chiellini has made 25 appearances for Juventus in all competitions this season, 17 of them starts.

    Chiellini will end his Italy career after facing Argentina at Wembley Stadium on June 1, having won 116 caps to date during a glittering career with the Azzurri.

    Having helped Italy to Euro 2020 glory last year, he revealed March's shock World Cup qualification play-off defeat to North Macedonia had influenced his desire to step away from both Serie A and international football.

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    In a match where Juventus paid tribute to departing stars Giorgio Chiellini and Paulo Dybala, first-half goals from Dusan Vlahovic and Alvaro Morata seemed to have put the Bianconeri in control.

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