Tuesday April 6 2021
De Zerbi stands by Sassuolo COVID choice

Roberto De Zerbi confirms Sassuolo will exclude Italy internationals against Inter tomorrow, even if they test negative for COVID-19. ‘We’ll try to do something different.’

It kicks off on Wednesday at 17.45 UK time (16.45 GMT) and was postponed last month due to the COVID outbreak at Inter.

Although the Nerazzurri have all recovered, Sassuolo are again leaving out Manuel Locatelli and Gian Marco Ferrari, despite the fact they tested negative for COVID-19 after the Italy national team cluster.

“We made a decision and we’re sticking with it, that’s all there is to know,” said De Zerbi in his press conference.

“We took everything into consideration, not just football, but above all those who have been around us for over a year. We will continue along this line tomorrow, so Locatelli, Mert Muldur and Ferrari will only return to the squad once they have passed the quarantine period.

“They are still negative and could play, but we made a choice for Saturday against Roma and it’s right to continue that.”

De Zerbi also confirmed Francesco Caputo, Domenico Berardi, Gregoire Defrel and Medhi Bourabia are also still out injured, with Kaan Ayhan testing positive for COVID.

It is therefore the same squad that drew 2-2 with Roma at the weekend.

“You cannot take for granted that a team missing many players will be inferior, because my team showed a different spirit, heart and determination when facing difficulties. When you have those elements, you can raise your game.

“Inter deserve to be first in the table, but we’ll still try to give all of ourselves and maintain the right balance between attack and defence.

“We will try to do something different compared to the last time we faced Inter, not because the result was bad, but we did have a few difficulties. The first two goals were our own fault.”