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‘They Have A Strong Team’, Says Sarri Ahead Of Napoli Clash

Juventus’ Italian coach Maurizio Sarri appears on in the course of the Italian Cup (Coppa Italia) spherical of 16 soccer match Juventus vs Udinese on January 15, 2020 on the Juventus stadium in Turin. AFP


Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri stated he expects an emotional return to his former membership Napoli on Sunday as Lazio and Roma put together for a derby conflict in Serie A after each capital-city sides exited the Italian Cup in the course of the week.

Sarri missed Juventus’ dwelling sport in opposition to Napoli with pneumonia in August and Sunday’s sport on the Stadio San Paolo might be his first since leaving the membership in 2018 earlier than his transfer to Chelsea.

“It will be a tremendously difficult game, emotionally it will be particularly special. My relationship with Naples and above all the city was strong,” stated Sarri, after Juve reached the Italian Cup semi-finals with a 3-1 win over Roma on Wednesday.

Juventus are high of the league with a four-point lead on second-placed Inter Milan, however Napoli — Serie A runners-up previously two seasons — are struggling in eleventh place, 14 factors off the Champions League locations.

“We must not look at their position in the table,” Sarri continued. “They have a strong team. They are going through a difficult time but have good players.

“There are three points at stake.”

Napoli misplaced 4-3 within the reverse fixture this season.

But the crew are a shadow of the eye-catching facet Sarri left in May 2018 to get replaced by Carlos Ancelotti.

Ancelotti helped the crew preserve their runners-up place final marketing campaign however was changed on the troubled facet by Gennaro Gattuso final month.

Gattuso has misplaced 4 of his 5 Serie A video games in cost and the membership haven’t gained at dwelling within the league since October 19.

But they’ve been boosted by reserving their ticket to the Italian Cup semi-finals with a 1-0 win over in-form Lazio this week.

“We played with hunger, character and the right spirit, showing real grit, something we had been lacking up till now,” stated Gattuso.

“Now, of course, we need to keep it up, to climb back up the table.”

Second-placed Inter Milan are at dwelling in opposition to sixth-placed Cagliari this weekend, after their title bid was stalled with back-to-back attracts.

Lazio — on a club-record 11-match league profitable streak — are third, six factors behind Juventus with a sport in hand, and two adrift of Inter forward of the Rome derby.

Paulo Fonseca’s Roma are seven factors behind their metropolis rivals within the last Champions League berth.

The groups performed out a 1-1 draw within the reverse fixture in September, and final season had a win every.

Simone Inzaghi’s Lazio are pushing for a primary Scudetto since 2000, after crashing out of the Italian Cup, which they gained final season.

Flagging Atalanta, in fifth, journey to Torino, whereas Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s eighth-placed AC Milan go to Brescia on Friday trying to edge nearer to the Europa League locations.

Brescia striker Mario Balotelli will miss the sport in opposition to his former membership after being handed a two-match ban for arguing with the referee final weekend.

One to look at

Atalanta’s Duvan Zapata is determined to finish his three-match objective drought since getting back from harm.

The 28-year-old scored six league objectives in seven video games earlier than being sidelined for 3 months with a thigh harm.

It is the previous Sampdoria ahead’s longest stretch with out scoring since his first objective for Atalanta again in November 2018.

Key stats

50 – Atalanta’s league objectives scored in 20 video games

27 – Napoli’s factors deficit to Juventus

23 – Ciro Immobile’s league objectives for Lazio this season

12 – Ronaldo’s objectives in final eight video games

3 – Maurizio Sarri’s seasons as Napoli coach

Fixtures (all occasions GMT)


Brescia v AC Milan (1945)


SPAL v Bologna (1400), Fiorentina v Genoa (1700), Torino v Atalanta (1945)


Inter Milan v Cagliari (1130), Hellas Verona v Lecce, Parma v Udinese, Sampdoria v Sassuolo (1400), Roma v Lazio (1700), Napoli v Juventus (1945)


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