Gigi Buffon believes the Bianconeri’s strong team collective will enable them to cope without defensive duo Andrea Barzagli and Giorgio Chiellini when Chievo travel to Juventus Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Both defenders are sidelined for tomorrow’s Serie A clash, but the goalkeeper is backing his team-mates to show the required maturity to step up to the task and produce a polished performance in their absence.
Speaking exclusively to Sky Sport Italia, Buffon began: “The absences make the team even more responsible. When important or irreplaceable elements such as Barzagli and Chiellini are missing, it’s felt by the team. But, as I always say, you win and defend as eleven men.”
The Juventus captain, who kept eight successive Serie A clean sheets earlier this season, was left stung after two headed goals pegged the team back in their last outing against Hellas Verona.
But he remains confident the Bianconeri can recover from events at the Bentegodi and regain the formidable defensive stability with which they ended 2013.
“There are moments when you can find yourselves conceding a certain type of goal. It happens once or twice, and then an element of fear creeps in when the same situation manifests itself in another game. But two or three games will be enough to bring us back to normality. Defending is definitely not something a team forgets.”
Sunday’s league clash with the relegation-threated Gialloblu begins an intense period of fixtures for Antonio Conte’s men, who launch their Europa League campaign four days later at home to Trabzonspor.
And Buffon insists the manager’s meticulous fitness drills on the training ground will fully come to fruition once the Bianconeri start navigating their way through a congested run of games.
“We’re ready to play every three days. We’ve used this recent period, in which we haven’t had midweek games, as the opportunity to undergo a specific athletic training regime, designed to put fuel in the tank.”
Adding fresh impetus to the ranks is loan signing Dani Osvaldo, who has already impressed Buffon with his dedication to the cause displayed throughout his first two weeks in Turin.
He added: “Pablo’s shown plenty of enthusiasm and has always come through everything that’s been asked of him by the fitness coaches. He knows he’s got a great opportunity here at Juventus, especially seeing as the World Cup is just a matter of months away.”