Sarri confident over Ronaldo-Dybala alliance

Sat 18 January 2020 | 17:23

Paulo Dybala shone in Cristiano Ronaldo's absence in midweek but Maurizio Sarri has backed his star forwards to work well in tandem.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala have no problem playing together, insists Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri.

Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Ronaldo has been in typically prolific form this season, scoring 14 times in 16 Serie A appearances and chipping with another two in the Champions League.

Argentina international Dybala has also impressed while not scoring with the same frequency. He has 11 in 25 across all competitions, although he dazzled on his way to a brace in the 4-0 Coppa Italia win over Leece in midweek – a match Ronaldo sat out due to illness.

"It seems to me that Dybala is doing the best things this year with everyone, he is always doing well," Sarri told a news conference ahead of Parma's visit to the Allianz Stadium on Sunday.

"With him and Ronaldo, we have fewer players in the middle, but lately with them both we have always created and scored.

"I consider it a myth that the two of them have difficulty playing together, Cristiano is also scoring and I don't see any problems whatsoever.

"They also scored with Gonzalo [Higuain], so I don't see any problems."

Much of the focus will be on Dejan Kulusevski this weekend, the attacking midfielder who Juventus bought from Atalanta earlier this month but remains on loan at Parma until the end of the campaign.

The 19-year-old has four goals and seven assists in Serie A this term and Sarri said: "I hope that Kulusevski will not be a danger and that will mean that our defenders have contained him well.

"Then I hope he does well with us six months from now."

Kulusevski's impending arrival does not mean Federico Bernardeschi, who has been linked with a move to Barcelona, will be allowed to leave.

"Nobody said anything to me," Sarri said. "As  far as I know, Bernardeschi is a player who won't be leaving. It's not an issue."

Sarri began his briefing on Saturday by paying tribute to Pietro Anastasi, the ex-Juventus and Italy forward whose death at the age of 71 was confirmed by his former club.

Anastasi scored 130 goals in 303 Juve appearances between 1968 and 1976 and was on target in the Azzurri's 2-0 final replay victory over Yugoslavia at the 1968 European Championship.

"I'd like to remember Anastasi," Sarri said. "A very important player in Juventus' history and Italian football.

"I remember him as a leading man in the 1968 European Championship, a great footballer and a great man."

source: SportMob