Juventus will face AC Milan tomorrow evening at the Allianz Stadium and will look to extend their unbeaten run across all competitions and cement their position on top of the Serie A table.
On the eve of the matchup, which has a clear favourite in the Bianconeri, Maurizio Sarri spoke to the press and reflected on the upcoming matchup.
“Milan is a good team that has not started the season well but this counts up to a certain point because it remains a good team that can have a good match. We must be better in the defensive phase compared to the last game,” he said to Calciomercato.com.
“Milan is rebuilding itself, there are cycles in football, getting back to winning in a short time is very difficult for everyone. It seems that the basis is there for them but I do not know how long it will take for them to get back to the top level.”
The former Chelsea and Napoli coach also provided updates on the conditions of the Bianconeri’s superstar Cristiano Ronaldo as well as Matthijs de Ligt, who have been struggling with physical issues in the past couple of days and their presence in the match against Milan is thus uncertain.
“I still don’t know how Ronaldo is. Yesterday he was with the physiotherapists, we will see today and tomorrow what he can do. I know that it is nothing serious, only a small pain in the knee that unbalances him during the game.
“De Ligt? Yesterday he trained, he seems to be recovering, let’s see how he will react to the next training session.”
Sarri went on to comment individually on some of the Juventus players and the progress they have made since the start of the season, from new arrivals Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot to captain Leonardo Bonucci as well as Douglas Costa, who scored the match-winning goal against Lokomotiv Moscow in the Champions League.
“Ramsey? He has important qualities. He can play both in the midfield as well as a playmaker, depending on how we want to play the role of the trequartista.
“Bonucci? If I thought the team could do without him well, I would have rested him. Right now we need him and so I asked him for a huge sacrifice. In this phase, he was decisive, for us and four our balance.
“Douglas Costa was decisive for us and our balance. He can also play as a free attacking midfielder. Higuain? His performances have been underestimated from a tactical point of view. He needs strong motivations to do his best. He is well physically and mentally, it is a time when he can give us so much and is giving us so much from the point of view of the game. In my opinion, he could give more from the realization point of view.
“Rabiot? In the future I see him playing in front of the defence. For now, I didn’t want to confuse him in his acclimatization phase and wanted to specialize him in a role.”
Sarri finished off the press conference with a brief remark about Inter Milan and how they have successfully been tracking down Juventus in the Serie A table.
“Inter? At times discussions cement the group but Inter looks like a very good team, they have 28 points in 11 matches,” Sarri concluded.