Sassuolo play Juventus on Sunday, but Eusebio Di Francesco’s thoughts are with Francesco Acerbi after his positive doping test.
The fixture was originally meant to start at 19.45 GMT tonight, but was moved to 17.30 GMT on Sunday due to the extended Champions League stay in Istanbul. Click here for a match preview.
“Juventus are the best team in Serie A and Antonio Conte is the best Coach,” said Di Francesco in his Press conference.
“I told the lads they must have the utmost respect, but not fear of their opponents. We did well against other big teams, so need courage and determination.
“It was a shame to move the match, as it is a source of pride for us to play at the Juventus Stadium and it would’ve been nice for more of our fans to accompany us there.
“I am not interested in the fact Juventus had another day to rest, but rather that our supporters can’t be there with us.”
Acerbi won’t be there either, as the defender is suspended after failing a doping test. The biggest concern is that the presence of a particular hormone could be a sign his cancer has returned.
“I will only say we are all very close to Francesco Acerbi. The most important thing is his health.”
The former Milan and Chievo defender had a testicular tumour removed in July after it was discovered during a routine medical.
He is due to have more blood tests today to identify the source of the hormone that showed up in the doping test after a December 1 match against Cagliari.