Sarri: ‘Fonseca’s Roma dangerous’

Maurizio Sarri is impressed with Paulo Fonseca’s Roma and describes what makes them “very dangerous” when attacking Juventus.

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“It’s going to be a difficult game and we need to be more consistent over the course of 90 minutes, so I want us to build on the good work seen against Cagliari,” said the coach in his press conference.

“I had already tipped Roma and Paulo Fonseca to be a surprise outfit in Serie A this season. Despite the many injuries, he has been able to give them a precise identity.

“They continually have these bursts of pace that make them very dangerous. The biggest risk is that you get caught off balance and are split in two. This is why we have to keep the lines tight and be wary.”

Gonzalo Higuain is not 100 per cent fit, so Sarri was asked how Juve would change in his absence.

“It depends on the characteristics of the players. Paulo Dybala starts his runs a little deeper and Cristiano Ronaldo off centre. Higuain therefore resolves an issue of getting bodies in the box.

“Aaron Ramsey can find space easily when Dybala and Ronaldo are in front of him, but so could Adrien Rabiot and Sami Khedira in those situations.

“I have not suddenly embraced squad rotation. At Napoli, we needed to find consistency at that time and it was the priority. Changing two or three players won’t make that big a difference to the shape of the team, but six or seven can certainly transform the approach you want to take.”

Matthijs de Ligt has been left on the bench for five games in a row, but the former Ajax star could step in for Merih Demiral tomorrow.

“He is doing better, we get the feeling the pain in his shoulder and hip is subsiding.”

Sarri celebrated his birthday this week, but shrugged when asked what he wanted as a gift from his players.

“I ask them to do what they always do, which is give their all to win the game. Besides, I am at an age now where birthdays make me grumpy…”

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