Thursday November 21 2019
Prandelli: 'Juve must be careful'

Cesare Prandelli said Juventus “must be careful” as he predicts a tough match at Atalanta when Maurizio Sarri and Gian Piero Gasperini go head-to-head.

The league leaders are heading to fifth-placed Atalanta on Saturday and the former Italy coach predicts a close-run thing when Maurizio Sarri and Gian Piero Gasperini go head-to-head in Serie A.

“I think it will end in a draw and there will be plenty of goals," Prandelli told TuttoJuve. “Atalanta are a very challenging opponent; their strength lies within their unit and mentality. I have read that several players will return, including Duvan Zapata, who will certainly want to play a great game.

“Gasperini’s team always grinds down the games and it is never over. Juventus must tread carefully.”

Prandelli is an ex-Juventus player and also a former Atalanta coach, so is very interested in the duel in the dugout this weekend. Before this meeting they are locked on a head-to-head record of four wins each and five draws.

“I don’t have all the facts, but Gasperini has been bothering everyone. Atalanta are a team that has been playing together for many years, it’s difficult to play against them,” added the 62-year-old.

“Sarri is still pursuing his philosophy and his idea of football, it is obviously taking some time. He’s only been in Turin for a few months. There will be a lot of interesting aspects, one of them might be the confrontation between a backline of three defenders against one with four.”

He is not expecting any of the managers to rotate from their normal approaches but points out that there might players suffering from recent the international break.

“No, I’m not expecting any surprises,” he said. “We don’t know about the conditions of the players returning from international duty. If there are any big changes, that will be the case.”

Atalanta and Juventus clash at 2pm on Saturday.