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Sarri: Lazio tough opponents for Juventus

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Manager’s comments ahead of second vs third clash

Juventus v US Sassuolo - Serie A Photo by Daniele Badolato - Juventus FC/Juventus FC via Getty Images

It’s top of the table clashes this weekend as Juventus sitting in second place take on Lazio who are in third, while leaders Inter Milan drew at home 0-0 against fifth-placed AS Roma on Friday, leaving them two points ahead of the BIanconeri having played a game more.

Speaking during his pre-match press conference, Maurizio Sarri indicated he is well aware of the challenge the Roman side will pose during Saturday’s late game.

“At this moment they give us this feeling of a strong team. They have picked up 18 points from their last six games. They are on a very good run of form.

“They’re a strong team with great quality. They’re the best team for picking out passes in the last 25 metres, even in Europe.

“We need this data for our own adjustments, they’re tough opponents. It will be a difficult game.”

Juve struggled to a 2-2 draw last weekend at home against Sassuolo, but Sarri is feeling good about how his side trained this week.

“After watching the training sessions, I am confident. Anyway, we must respond on the pitch. All the points are important, so all the games are important.

“I understand from a journalistic point of view that some matches will be emphasised, but I repeat; all games are important. Points are crucial.”

Sarri went on to add that he was happy to challenge his squad with the drive to chase Inter.

“I hope so. We might be stimulated by having a team ahead of us. It could be a source of great motivation.”

Sami Khedira and Aaron Ramsey will both miss this weekend with injuries.

“I’m not happy, but there are periods during the season where this situation might occur. But Adrien Rabiot is fine, he has been training with the team and has recovered.

“I expect a physical approach from them, they’re on a positive run. We will have to hold on, then grab the game with our hands and keep away from our own penalty area.”

Federico Bernardeschi has underwhelmed in recent weeks, what will Sarri do about him?

“Bernardeschi is a sensitive guy, and this is evident when we play away from home. His performances are different when he is in a safe environment at home.

“He is an important player; he doesn’t need to be influenced by anything or anyone. My task is to accompany him, rather than to test him.

“We will try to play Bernardeschi, while counting on Douglas Costa’s recovery. Without Douglas Costa, it’s difficult to play with a trio.”

Khedira will be missing for the longer term after having surgery done on his injured knee, is this Emre Can’s opportunity to get back in his good graces?

“He [Can] has made some appearances; he is not an excluded player. He is just out of the list registered for the Champions League. But that was a tough blow for him mentally.

“He knows he will be considered in the League, if he performs.

“Khedira has a great personality, his knee was getting worse over the last 10 days and we couldn’t do anything but operate on it. Now we must help the others improve.”