Juventus travel to Lecce tomorrow looking to extend their lead at the top of Serie A, but will do so without Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been rested while Mattia De Sciglio and Danilo return. Mario Mandzukic continues to be overlooked with youngsters Marco Olivieri and Han Kwang-song called up.
Speaking before the trip, manager Maurizio Sarri talked about their weekend opponents.
“It’ll be a difficult match against a team who always propose their own style of play, even when they’re in trouble.
“There will be many variables to deal with, like the heat, which can be an obstacle as it was in Florence, but we must be able to overcome these difficulties too.
“Right now we don’t have that many options to rotate, but we’ll change something based on the condition of the players.”
In his squad update, Sarri hinted that we might see a change at the centreback position, with both Merih Demiral and Daniele Rugani standing by.
“Leonardo Bonucci has always played, we’ll see if we can give him a breather. Douglas Costa isn’t ready yet and Mattia De Sciglio also needs a few more days.”
Meanwhile, winger Douglas Costa is still not ready to play.
“If Douglas Costa is still not training with the team but is still being seen to by the medical staff, it means he’s not yet ready to return.”
The manager has received criticism for continuing to allow Ronaldo to take freekicks despite his poor conversion record, with Miralem Pjanic and Paulo Dybala both boasting better goalscoring records from set-piece situations.
“With Cristiano Ronaldo we speak often. Even he will need to rest sometimes, we’ll see when based on how he’s feeling. Cristiano and Miralem Pjanic decide between themselves on the pitch who takes the free-kicks. I’ve always liked Pjanic, he’s a quality player. I asked him a few things, without upsetting his nature, and he was good at making himself available. He is expressing himself at a very high level.
“Paulo Dybala has always done well in the season, so I expected a great performance from him. I had no doubt.”