Pirlo refuses claims that he will be judged on potential Champions League exit

Juventus are at a risk of going out of the Champions League, but manager Andrea Pirlo stated that his job security would not depend on tomorrow's result.

Juventus' head coach Andrea Pirlo stands by the touchline during the Champions League round of 16, first leg, soccer match between FC Porto and Juventus at the Dragao stadium in Porto, Portugal, Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2021.   -  AP

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo does not believe his job will be at risk should his side fail to overturn a 2-1 deficit in its Champions League last 16 return clash with Porto on Tuesday.

Juve, chasing a 10th straight Serie A title, has struggled to reach the heights of previous campaigns and sit third in the domestic league table, seven points behind leaders Inter Milan.

After sailing through its Champions League group, Juventus was below par in its loss against Porto on Feb. 17, putting pressure on for Tuesday's second leg. However, Pirlo is relaxed about the ramifications of any potential exit from Europe.

"I don't think tomorrow's game will change the judgement on my work," Pirlo told a news conference on Monday. "I continue to work day after day knowing what my project is all about and where the club is at.

ALSO READ | UEFA suspends Romanian official involved in PSG-Basaksehir player walk-off

"Tomorrow is a decisive match for our path in the Champions League. For us, it is as if it were a final but it will be for them too.

"There will be little space and a lot of time to think so it will take a lot of technique, patience. We must not be in a hurry to break through centrally but make them turn quickly from one side to the other," he added.

There is plenty of hope for Juve that it can overturn the deficit, given that Porto has failed to win in its previous 13 away games in the Champions League knockout stages.

ALSO READ | Barcelona has deficit to overcome to recover in Champions League

Pirlo was also handed a fitness boost ahead of kick-off, with central defenders Giorgio Chiellini and Matthijs de Ligt both in the running to play against the Portuguese side.

"Chiellini is quite well. He only trained today with the rest of the team after three weeks off," Pirlo said. "He's not at his best but I think he can be available.

"Today they all trained in a group. De Ligt warmed up with the team and could be in with a chance of playing."

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :