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Andrea Pirlo working overtime to be fit

Andrea Pirlo has cut short his mid-season break in a bid to be fit for the Serie A match with Roma on Jan. 5.

Rzouki: Marchisio slots into Pirlo role

The Italy international has been out of action since early December due to knee ligament damage he picked up after only 13 minutes of Juve's 1-0 win over Udinese.

He was ruled out for a month, but in order to complete his recovery within the forecast timeframe, the midfielder made a return to training 48 hours earlier than his teammates, on Boxing Day.

The 34-year-old was in action at the club's training facilities in Vinovo along with two other Bianconeri players -- Simone Pepe and Mirko Vucinic -- keen to recover full fitness come the league's restart in 10 days' time.

The league leaders host Roma looking for a 10th straight win a week on Sunday, while bidding to increase a five-point cushion over their rivals at the top of the table and edge closer to a third straight Scudetto.

The rest of the Juve squad are due back for training after their Christmas holidays on Saturday, giving them one week to prepare for the much-anticipated top-of-the-table clash at the Juventus Stadium, when the Curvas will be fully open once again and a sell-out crowd is expected.

Should Pirlo be unable to prove his fitness in time, coach Antonio Conte is likely to pick Arturo Vidal, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio, who have nonetheless guaranteed nine points in three matches without the Italian midfielder, whose contract is up for renewal in the summer.

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