Sarri awaits all-clear for Napoli clash

Published : 29 Aug 2019 06:57 PM | Updated : 02 Sep 2020 06:30 PM

Maurizio Sarri could get the all-clear to be present for his first home clash as Juventus coach on Saturday against his former club Napoli, after missing the season-opener with pneumonia, reports AFP.

The eight-time defending champions' first home game of the campaign pits them against last season's runners-up.

The 60-year-old has reportedly irritated club bosses by continuing to smoke despite his health issues. Chain-smoking Sarri was photogra­phed holding a packet of cigarettes while posing with fans outside his home earlier this week. Despite his condition, Sarri has still conducted training sessions, and in recent days has come out on the pitch, according to reports in Italy. 

The former Chelsea manager spent three trophyless seasons with Napoli and his decision to join Juventus has been viewed as a betrayal by his former club and supporters. Sarri's continued absence could however provide a boost for Carlo Ancelotti's Napoli, who won their opening game 4-3 against Fiorentina.Juventus posted an uninspiring 1-0 win over Parma last weekend with Cristiano Ronaldo having a goal controversially ruled offside by VAR.

Napoli's new Mexican signing Hirving Lozano could make his debut. Juventus' close-season signing Aaron Ramsey could have to wait for his first start after skipping midweek training due to slight lower back pain.

"These direct clashes (between Juventus and Napoli) are difficult, but we often win them, we hope to continue like this on Saturday," said Juventus goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny.

"It will be a hard-fought match."