Juventus take on Verona tomorrow in Serie A action, looking to bounce back from two consecutive draws, one unconvincing and the other disappointing.
Speaking ahead of the game, manager Maurizio Sarri addressed the media today, and the first question put to him was around squad rotation, something he notoriously has not done much of in his past.
“We’ll see the situation because we have one more training session. We’ll decide accordingly. In Italy we’re obsessed with rotation. I played over 60 games in England last season and there are teams that do it all with 14 players.
“Perhaps we use up more mental energy here than physical. When something isn’t working, I like to understand why and improve it.”
The Bianconeri have given up a number of goals this season already from set-plays, but Sarri is unconcerned as he feels he has the fix in place.
“With regards to high balls, it was a lapse in concentration and aggression that we can resolve.
“Right now, the team must find strong organisation and we can do so only by having consistency in key positions. We’ll make changes if someone is tired.”
Like early last season, Cristiano Ronaldo has been involved but is yet to make effective scoring contributions.
“Ronaldo is seeing much more of the ball than in the past. It’s never easy to get shots off against Atletico, but he managed three.
“He always expects a lot of himself and when he has a good game, he doesn’t seem to have done anything exceptional.
“However, he did something exceptional in the 94th minute, which didn’t come off due to a bit of luck. He can grow like the rest of the team.”
Paulo Dybala is yet to feature in a starting XI this season -
“If I didn’t think he was ready, I wouldn’t brought him on at a decisive moment. Maybe he’s not yet at the top of his game, but he’s able to give us a hand.”
When Douglas Costa picked up an early injury against Atletico, Juan Cuadrado got the nod ahead of Federico Bernardeschi.
“In the future, I see Bernardeschi becoming a specialist midfielder and not a winger.
“However, right now I need him in attack. We’ll help him do his best: he’s a player with great quality.”
Aaron Ramsey finally made an appearance as a late sub while Adrien Rabiot has yet to be given a debut.
“Ramsey has made major strides, Rabiot is also coming out. Surely in this cycle of games there will be opportunities for them.
“Then there are important roles like that of Blaise Matuidi, who has become very good at understanding the change of tactics.”
Meanwhile, Verona manager Ivan Juric has a gameplan on how to beat Juve on Saturday, and added that despite Massimiliano Allegri’s departure this still remains a squad of his moulding.
“To pick up points in Turin, you have to play freely, not only thinking about defending. I don’t think it’s impossible to get a result. Of course, they have very good players and when they push on, there’s no-one like them.
“I saw a lot of Allegri’s Juve in Madrid. I also noticed Sarri’s work, but Juventus aren’t like Sarri’s Napoli yet.
“Atletico are set-piece specialists, so I don’t think it’s a big problem for the Bianconeri. Practically nothing changes if they play one or another.”