Juventus will finally take on Inter Milan today after the clash was originally postponed to May due to the Corona virus epidemic, and then rescheduled to this weekend as the league attempts to regain some semblance of order following a spate of cancellations and postponements.
While there was no official pre-match press conference, manager Maurizio Sarri spoke to the Juventus website ahead of the game that will be played behind closed-doors as a one-month ban on crowds at sporting events continues.
Lazio are top of the table right now with 62 points from 26 games, Juventus have 60 from 25 with Inter in third with 54 from 24 played. A win for the Bianconeri would see the hosts return to the pole in the Scudetto race, while striking a critical blow to the hopes of Antonio Conte as he attempts to lift the title with Juve’s bitterest rivals of them all.
“It will be a beautiful match. It is clear that Juventus-Inter is the most prestigious match in Serie A; for the history, and this year, for the standings.
“After two important transfer windows, I think Inter has become one of the favourites for the league title, like us. Therefore, it is important for the rankings. I hope it will be a beautiful game, and I hope we enjoy it. It will surely be a difficult game but also beautiful to play.”
Juve won the reverse fixture 1-0 at the San Siro, but were challenged all game long by Inter’s pace both on and off the ball.
“It is a difficult match tactically. Given their way of playing, a problem, for us, may be the size of the opponents, however, both teams have the characteristics which can put the opponent in danger. And so, it will be a difficult game for us, and one which preparation is needed. But, of course, it will also be difficult for our opponents.
“One of our objectives must be to keep the ball high in their half of the pitch. That will be more important than usual tomorrow.”
Sarri had previously complained that this Juventus squad was not implementing his concepts well, so getting some additional time in training has been beneficial.
“Recovering all the players during this period is fortunate because, it is clear that in the last few days, with the recovery of the players, the quality of training has risen. The improved level of training is something very important.
“We have strikers with different characteristics from each other, so sometimes, even in the same formation, we are a different team without having to change the interpreters.”
Cristiano Ronaldo will be marking his 1,000th competitive football game, and will be raring to go.
“He is an active player, and so not much thinking is needed. This is a great achievement, but he must immediately chase after new goals. But we know Cristiano and we know that he will be like that. It is a cue for his teammates to give him a gift.”