Friday February 12 2016
‘Allegri outstanding for Juventus’

Napoli Coach Maurizio Sarri believes his Juventus rival Massimiliano Allegri has done “an outstanding job”.

The Bianconeri boss praised Sarri in his Press conference ahead of the top-of-the-table encounter - click here for a match preview - and the Tuscan tactician returned the favour.

“Is it more my Napoli or Allegri’s Juventus?” Sarri considered in his own Press conference.

“There will always be some [Antonio] Conte in Juve and some [Rafa] Benitez in Napoli. Something will remain after years of work.

“Allegri has done an outstanding job, it could have been hard after Conte - maybe there’s more to him than is said.”

A draw would see the Partenopei retain their two-point lead at the top of Serie A, would Sarri settle for a share of the spoils?

“I never settle for anything. For our fans this isn’t a normal game, so we’ll be playing for the city which drives us on too.

“Then there are the difficulties of the game, but if we play with heart and pride we’ll accept the result.

“Could Juventus’ experience be the deciding factor? Experience can have an effect, but there are other factors. If experience was all that mattered Gigi Riva would still be playing.”

The Coach was then asked about the form of Juan Cuadrado, and whether they could be out-muscled by the Old Lady.

“Should we be careful on the wings because of Cuadrado?” Sarri pondered.

“The analysis points to that, it’ll be tough for us from that point of view, but don’t forget we have [Lorenzo] Insigne and [Jose] Callejon who can be decisive, so we’re not bad in that area ourselves.

“That said, for their style of play width is more important than it is for us. If we cover their width with our wide-attackers we’ll end up with six at the back, so we’ll have to take some risks.

“The physical contest? We concentrate more on the ball, not on physical battles, while they’re more willing to go for a physical confrontation because they have great athleticism.

“There are different ways to play, and tomorrow we’ll have to concentrate on speed rather than physicality.

“Who would I take away from Juve? No-one, they’re phenomenons. [Gigi] Buffon has made history, [Claudio] Marchisio is extraordinary and [Paulo] Dybala has a great future ahead of him.”

Finally, Sarri was asked about the referee, with Daniele Orsato replacing the injured Nicola Rizzoli.

“We’re talking about top referees. I’ve had some words with Orsato, but he’s remarkable, great.

“I’ve never had problems with referees, but I’ll often ask for their opinion of an incident and then give mine.”

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