Sarri and Gasperini Preview Saturday Bout Between Atalanta and Lazio

Atalanta and Lazio will open Round 11. Maurizio Sarri was complimentary of the opponents: “We will face a strong side, but we will try to play our game. They are aggressive, intense, and complete. As Pep Guardiola said, facing them is like going to the dentist. They are an example and an inspiration for the whole system. We tend to do better against challenging adversaries.”

The gaffer rejected the criticism: “Lazio qualified for Champions League just once in the last ten years while Inter and Milan were marginal. My arrival can not completely shake up some situations on its own. We can try to flip the hierarchies, but it is a long path.”

Sarri sidestepped a question about Luis Alberto and again sniped the League: “We do not know who will play yet. We have to assess how they recovered from the Fiorentina game. It will be the third match in a row with less than 72 hours of rest. It did not happen to other teams.”

Gian Piero Gasperini is openly feuding with the referees after the recent expulsions: “I have yet to decide whether I will sit on the bench against Lazio. I can not shut up about some issues. There is a lot of confusion, and I can not figure out how handballs, VAR, tackles and yellow cards work these days. There have been a few egregious mistakes. I can not be sent off if I complain from the stands. It is time to take a stance on the diverse interpretations.”

He provided an update on his injured players: “Merih Demiral could recover for the Lazio game, while Rafael Toloi slowed down in his rehab. Mattia Pessina is progressing, while Robin Gosens’ problem was more severe. Roberto Piccoli has more energy than Luis Muriel right now.”