Tuesday July 14 2020
Sarri: 'Sassuolo are like Atalanta'

Maurizio Sarri claims Juventus must be wary of an ‘unhesitant’ Sassuolo, confirms Leonardo Bonucci struggles with a foot injury and says the Old Lady only focus on picking up the required 11 points from their last six games.

The Bianconeri coach prepares to face Roberto De Zerbi’s Neroverdi at the Mapei Stadium tomorrow and feels the hosts represents a similar task to the one against Atalanta last time.

“Sassuolo are one of those teams that have taken the same path as Atalanta,” Sarri said at a press conference. “They have given continuity to a project and are doing well.

“We face them in a dangerous period because they are great in attack. We are enthused too, as well as determined.”

But the Bianconeri coach has pointed out that there are certain difficulties facing teams like Atalanta last time and Sassuolo tomorrow.

“Atalanta are a team that have also changed along the way, in recent years they have become more dangerous in attack and are so aggressive that they defensively don’t give you a breather.

“Sassuolo are a team that have the propensity to dribble out of the ordinary, manages to keep possession and play matches.

“It’s a difficulty that will come out again tomorrow because they don’t hesitate against the great teams, they want to move forward on their path.

“We must take this into account, and we must suffer. It’s something to foresee and we must be ready.”

Sarri praised Sassuolo coach Roberto De Zerbi and claimed he is one of the most exciting young coaches in Italy.

“Everyone plays the football they can based on the characteristics of the players available. Otherwise you become your own coach and not the team.

“He gives an impression to his teams, has ideas and tries to apply them. He seems like the most interesting of the young coaches.

“I don’t know if he is like me. Coaches are the result of their experiences, so it’s not that I think any of us are totally inspired by another coach.

“He may have taken something but 99 per cent of what he does, he has come up with and taken from his own experiences.”

The former Napoli and Chelsea tactician doesn’t want to take anything for granted, despite leading Serie A by eight points.

“This championship is not over, we have to fight and suffer. We are lucky if we reach the target by claiming 11 points in the next six games.

“I don’t think anyone is so superficial that they take it for granted, because in sports there are no obvious results. I don’t think so.

“I don’t know about criticism. I’m estranged from everything and everyone, I don’t participate, and I will never use social networks by choice of life. People on the street seem to give us support and affection.”

Sarri has claimed Merih Demiral needs a few days to prepare, as the Turkey international returned from a lengthy spell out.

“He’s as well as a boy who comes from an ACL operation is. He’s fine, I haven’t seen him in any great difficulty.

“He came back two days ago and let’s give him a few days to train and get back in the right condition. Now, we must make him efficient from the point of view of performing.”

Sarri doesn’t feel the team are struggling in front of goal, despite lacking goals from the midfield in recent months.

“The team have scored 17 goals in six games, I think. I don’t see that as a problem for us right now. We know that the player that has the most goals in his feet is Ramsey, due to his individual characteristics.

“Then we have several players who are developing and can score more goals in the future, like [Rodrigo] Bentancur and [Adrien] Rabiot.”

The Old Lady coach gave an update on the injury list and confirmed that Leonardo Bonucci struggles with a foot injury.

“[Miralem] Pjanic was excluded as a precaution, he didn’t have a huge problem. He only had fatigue in his adductor that could become a problem. The next day he trained as normal.

“Bonucci has this problem with his foot, let’s see if he has improved and see if it’s appropriate to let him play or if he needs to be rested.”

Sarri claims the games after the resumption are wide open, with the high scores a consequence of the tight programme.

“It’s clear that in this moment, playing after such a long break, with a short period of preparation, playing in the middle of July, the struggles are greater for the teams to remain compact. The teams play suffering more than normally.

“This is a problem we have to deal with, and I think that staying tidy is a quality that can reward us.”

Sarri has coped without captain Giorgio Chiellini for most of the season and confirmed the centre-back will not be able to complete 90 minutes against Sassuolo tomorrow.

“Chiellini is one of the great regrets of the season. Having to cope without such an important player for so many months has been tough.

“It’s not good that it has not been put more weight on this aspect because he’s a player that can be decisive. He stopped due to the knee injury and then he had to stop for two months because of the lockdown and it’s something that has extended his time out.

“He has been training with the team for five days, I see him developing and in the future he will be able to contribute. He won’t play 90 minutes, but he’s developing.

“We don’t have to make many calculations. We only have to think about getting 11 points in six games. Then we can think about everything else afterwards.

“We had players resting due to suspensions and we will definitely have Juan Cuadrado back. Alex Sandro missed three or four games because of injury. Something is starting to move and I hope that we can rotate more."

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