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Sarri: Ronaldo to be evaluated ahead of Juventus-Roma

Manager’s comments ahead of Coppa Italia quarterfinal

Juventus v Udinese Calcio - Serie A Photo by Chris Ricco/Getty Images

Juventus host AS Roma in the quarter finals of this year’s Coppa Italia, with manager Maurizio Sarri thinking about squad rotation and keeping his players fresh, starting with Cristiano Ronaldo.

“We will evaluate Cristiano. If he is well, he can play three games in a week. I don’t see it as a problem. The important thing is that he feels like he’s able to do it.

“Last Wednesday, we got him ready, let’s see for tomorrow.”

The Bianconeri recently won 2-1 away in the capital, but Sarri believes the visitors are at their most dangerous away from home.

“You only need to look at the results Roma are getting away from home. It’s difficult, they’ve claimed more points on the road than at home. They’re a team of a great level and will give us a complicated task.

“If we think we can play the game without suffering, we are far from realistic. They’re a strong team. Tomorrow we will need to have a good game.”

Sarri could give Douglas Costa the start, but once again is concerned about the balance in his team.

“I think so [that Douglas Costa will play]. The important thing is to find order on the pitch. We have to stay balanced with so many attacking players.

“He is doing well now. We have avoided certain impacts because he is at risk of injuries at the moment. The extremely positive aspect is that he has found continuity in training.

“We have to invent something. Today, we had a light training. Tomorrow morning we will decide. I haven’t decided anything, neither who plays nor the formation.”

Juan Cuadrado and Alex Sandro might be late decisions, but the manager is not worried about their fitness.

“Cuadrado had fever, and we’ve kept him in the gym. Alex Sandro has nothing serious, but we need to evaluate. I think it’s possible to recover him.”

The manager wants his players to just focus on one game at a time.

“The games are so unpredictable, and you can’t programme it for too many of your players,” he said. “The important game is against Napoli, but we don’t assess five or six players, we can do it with one.”

Would Gonzalo Higuain get a starting spot in the lineup tomorrow?

“He was particularly alive in training today. He is an important player. For balance reasons, he plays together with the other two or with one of them. Lately he has been less frequent in the penalty area, but he is a player of an unusual calibre.”

There’s been lots of talk around exits for Emre Can and Federico Bernardeschi this January.

“I don’t know, for me they are part of the squad and therefore they are taken into consideration. Just like everyone else.

“Unless there’s a particular mental situation on the part of some players involved, but right now I don’t see an issue.”