'We are thinking of different solutions' - Pirlo considering playing Dybala with Ronaldo and Morata for Juventus

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Cristiano Ronaldo Juventus Cagliari Serie A
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Juventus have a defensive injury crisis but the coach is prepared to experiment with his attack

Andrea Pirlo is keen to experiment with a three-pronged forward line for Juventus featuring Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata despite an injury crisis in defence.

The trio have not yet started together in any competition this season due to injury and illness.

Ronaldo, Juve's top scorer this season with eight goals in six appearances, missed four matches across Serie A and the Champions League after testing positive for coronavirus in October.

Dybala has battled injury and ill health and has only recovered full fitness in the past week, and Morata, who has six goals in nine games, needed time to settle after signing on loan from Atletico Madrid in September.

Pirlo thinks all three are ready to start against Ferencvaros in the Champions League on Tuesday, as Juve aim to secure their place in the last 16, although he is wary of leaving the team too unbalanced.

"We've been thinking about it from the start. Unfortunately, we never had them together in good condition," the coach told reporters on Monday. "We are thinking of different solutions.

"Dybala was injured, Morata wasn't there right at the start, Ronaldo had Covid... they trained together for a few days. Now, we'll try to balance the team, and then we'll look for a solution to let them play together, if possible."

He said of Dybala, who missed Argentina's World Cup qualifiers this month with illness: "He's better, he's ready. He trained continuously during the international break, apart from the first few days when he was on antibiotics.

"He moved better, he got strength back in his legs and we'll see if we can play him from the start."

Pirlo was asked about his relationship with Portuguese superstar Ronaldo, and the coach said he treats the five-time Ballon d’Or winner the same as every member of his squad.

"My relationship with Ronaldo? The same as with the others,” Pirlo said. “I treat him like [Gianluca] Frabotta and [Manolo] Portanova, this has always been my way.”

Juve's attacking riches are in stark contrast to a depleted defence, made worse by the news Merih Demiral will be out for around 10 days with a muscle issue.

With Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini also sidelined, Pirlo will be forced into something of a makeshift defence against Ferencvaros.

"There are four left at the back and they'll play. Danilo will be at centre-back and Alex Sandro will return at full-back," he said.

"We'll see about the rest. [Dejan] Kulusevski has played a lot of games and [Federico] Chiesa, I don't think he's ready to play from the first minute yet. Let's see how they are tomorrow."

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Juve's clean sheet in last weekend's 2-0 win over Cagliari was only their fourth in all competitions in 2020-21.

They conceded three times in their first three Champions League group games and faced 36 shots in total, only nine fewer than Tuesday's winless opponents.

However, victory will guarantee their place in the next round if Dynamo Kiev fail to beat Barcelona.

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