Sarri: Juventus don't have characteristics to play with front three

By Sports Desk December 06, 2019

Maurizio Sarri reiterated Juventus cannot play with three forwards as he expressed confidence in his side's ability to bounce back from a disappointing draw with Sassuolo.

Sarri has faced consistent questions this season over the possibility of using Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain in a front three.

Dybala was left on the bench last Sunday as Ronaldo and Higuain started up front in a gripping 2-2 game that saw Juventus surrender top spot in Serie A to Inter.

Third-placed Lazio, who are seven points off the top, are the opposition on Saturday as Juve make the trip to the Stadio Olimpico.

There is unlikely to be a Juve attacking triumvirate on show in the capital, however, with coach Sarri insisting it is not possible to play all three together at present.

"Right now, playing three forwards is difficult due to the characteristics of the players," he told a media conference.

"You can't prohibit Dybala from dropping deep, and at the same time Cristiano's characteristics are not to play too central. We must take some precautions to fill the penalty area more.

"It's normal that after Champions League games there's a drop in energy, mentality and confidence, but from what I've seen in training I'm confident. As always, we have to respond on the pitch, getting three points is always important regardless of the game.

"It will be an important matchday for the teams high up in the table, I hope that our motivations are high.

"Lazio are a strong team with great quality. They are the best in Italy and among the best in Europe for getting into the last 25 metres. We need to keep them away from our area because they are very dangerous.

"Based on the average amount of points that they are picking up, Lazio have to be in the conversation for the fight for top.

"I expect a strong approach from Lazio, who will be very determined. We will have to resist it, come out and dictate the game how we want to."

Related items

  • Real Madrid is my home and my life - Casillas confirms talks over non-playing return to former club Real Madrid is my home and my life - Casillas confirms talks over non-playing return to former club

    Iker Casillas has revealed he is hoping to return "home" to Real Madrid in a non-playing capacity after being made an offer by president Florentino Perez

    The Spain legend announced his retirement last week, having not played a game since suffering a heart attack in training with Porto on May 1 last year.

    Goalkeeping great Casillas progressed through Madrid's youth ranks and made 725 appearances for the club before departing on a sour note after falling out with Perez five years ago.

    However, Casillas is now on far better terms with Perez and the 39-year-old has confirmed reports that he could be on his way back to Santiago Bernabeu in an advisory role.

    "Nothing is closed yet, but I hope that my new stage will be at Real Madrid," he told Semana magazine. "The departure from Real Madrid was traumatic, but it's my home.

    "We broke up, like when a marriage separates and you say everything and there were things that were badly said and out of context, but time passes and everything calms down.

    "Once two or three years had passed, I had a calmer relationship with Florentino and he told me, 'you have to be here'.

    "Now in August, we'll talk because Real Madrid is my home and my life. Florentino recently called me to make an offer and now, when I return to Madrid, we will talk."

    World Cup-winning keeper Casillas was previously in the running to take over as president of the Spanish Football Federation, only to pull out of the race in June.

    "I had almost won my candidacy, but political reasons weighed more heavily," he said. "There was an uneven fight and I decided to withdraw."

  • Matuidi leaves Juventus ahead of expected Inter Miami move Matuidi leaves Juventus ahead of expected Inter Miami move

    Blaise Matuidi has left Juventus ahead of an expected move to MLS side Inter Miami.

    Matuidi joined Juve from Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain in 2017, with the 2018 World Cup winner going on to help the Turin giants to three successive Serie A titles and one Coppa Italia triumph.

    The French midfielder had another season left to run on his deal with Juve, but the Italian champions have agreed to terminate the remainder of his contract in order for the 33-year-old to join Miami on a free contract.

    Matuidi made over 130 appearances for Juve, scoring eight goals.

    "With our colours on his back, he fought and played his heart out in every single game; placing constant pressure on the opponents, tearing apart the run of play and ever so eloquently relaunching the ball into action," Juve said in a statement on Wednesday.

    "Blaise is someone who will always be in our hearts and we wish him all the very best for the future."

    Miami, part-owned by Matuidi's former PSG team-mate Beckham, have lost all of their competitive fixtures so far this season. 

  • De Ligt facing three months out after Juventus defender undergoes shoulder surgery De Ligt facing three months out after Juventus defender undergoes shoulder surgery

    Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt is facing three months out after undergoing shoulder surgery.

    The Netherlands centre-back has had persistent problems with his right shoulder after suffering a dislocation last year.

    Juve confirmed on Wednesday that the 21-year-old had stabilisation surgery in Rome and the operation was "a complete success".

    He is not likely to be fully fit to return until November.

    There is not yet an official start date for the 2020-21 Serie A season but the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has previously stated it hopes the campaign can begin on September 1.

    De Ligt made 39 appearances in all competitions in his first season for Juve since joining from Ajax for an initial €75million fee last year.

    Juve won the Scudetto for the ninth time in a row but were beaten by Napoli on penalties in the Coppa Italia final and were knocked out of the Champions League on away goals at the last-16 stage by Lyon.

    Head coach Maurizio Sarri was sacked the day after that European exit and replaced by Under-23s boss and former midfielder Andrea Pirlo.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.