Francesco Guidolin has to revamp his Udinese side against Lecce, leaving behind Mauricio Isla and Pablo Armero.
The Friulani begin their Serie A campaign at the Stadio Via del Mare, but are forced into changes because of international duty.
“Isla and Armero have slight physical problems, but I had already decided not to use them, as they only returned to Udine on Thursday. We experimented a three-man defence and four at the back,” explained the Coach.
“I realised last year that when players come back late from international duty, it is better to leave them out for the next game. Long journeys and other inconveniences do weigh on them, so it's pointless trying to force them to be ready.”
Udinese have to factor in the Europa League after losing the Champions League play-off to Arsenal.
“We have to take it one game at a time, looking at all the fixtures ahead of us. Serie A is the most important thing for us. It is our lives. We all want to do well in Europe, but the League has precedence.
“Everyone is quick to remind us what happened to Sampdoria last season, when they went from the play-off to relegation. We thank them and will try to learn those lessons. Our first objective is to reach 40 points as soon as possible.”
Udinese have bad memories of the Stadio Via del Mare, having lost here 2-0 last term.
“The dangers are the same as five months ago, as Lecce have quality, pace, technique and are vivacious. I know their Coach, Eusebio Di Francesco, and can see in him my own desire to surprise the world.”
Mehdi Benatia is suspended, while Paulo Vitor Barreto is in the squad despite not being 100 per cent fit.
Udinese squad: Handanovic, Padelli, Romo; Basta, Domizzi, Ekstrand, Danilo, Neuton, Pasquale, Pereyra; Abdi, Asamoah, Badu, Doubai, Pinzi, Sissoko; Barreto, Di Natale, Fabbrini, Torje
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