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Illness forces Sarri to miss his first two Serie A games with Juventus

The manager has been suffering from pneumonia, and will be absent for next week’s reunion with former club Napoli.

Maurizio Sarri.
Maurizio Sarri.

JUVENTUS WILL PLAY their first two Serie A games of the season without coach Maurizio Sarri on the touchline as he continues his recovery from pneumonia.

The 60-year-old was diagnosed with the illness after missing his side’s friendly win over Triestina on Saturday and has been unable to oversee training despite returning to the club’s training ground on Monday.

Juve begin the 2019-20 league campaign with a visit to Parma on Saturday before welcoming Napoli to Turin the following week. 

But the reigning champions will have to get the season underway without their new boss, as Juve confirmed he will be given time to recover.

“Maurizio Sarri underwent further medical tests today, which showed a good clinical improvement,” a statement read. 

“To completely recover from the pneumonia that hit him over the course of the past few days, the coach will not sit on the bench for the first two Serie A matches against Parma and Napoli.

“The decision was taken to allow the technician, who even today went to the JTC [traning ground] to coordinate work with his staff, to resume regular activity as soon as possible.”

Assistant Giovanni Martusciello will assume control from the bench instead. 

The timeframe means Sarri will miss next week’s reunion with his former side Napoli, whom he coached for three seasons before spending last year at Chelsea.

Sarri led Napoli agonisingly close to a Serie A title ahead of Juventus in 2017/18, but having beaten Juve with four games remaining, they collapsed in their next game – a 3-0 loss to Fiorentina – and finished four points from the top. 

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