June 23, 2020 / 7:56 AM / 11 days ago

Soccer-Don't expect great football, Sarri tells Serie A fans

June 23 (Reuters) - Serie A teams are facing a trip into the unknown and fans should not expect great football between now and the end of season, Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri said after his side’s 2-0 win at Bologna.

With teams still brushing off the cobwebs after a three-month stoppage for COVID-19 and facing high summer temperatures at the same time, Sarri said spectators should expect a much slower pace than usual.

“It’s a completely anomalous situation and there are no points of reference, so it’s very easy to make a mistake with the physical preparation,” said Sarri, whose team are four points clear at the top and chasing a ninth successive title.

“You have teams in a physical condition that’s not ideal and you’re going to have games that will be played at very high temperatures, so I think it’s going to be very difficult for all the teams,” he said.

“I do not predict great football because, with the high temperatures, the pace will not be very high, and people have become used to watch high-paced games....It will be difficult for everyone with surprises possible in every match.”

Sarri said the start of next season would also be tough.

“After 15 days, we will be on the pitch for the new season, and, again, it’s going to be special start because the preparations will certainly not be the traditional ones,” he said.

Sarri, in his first season at Juventus, shrugged off the criticism which rained down on him after Juve failed to win the Coppa Italia last week.

“In life, there are facts and there are opinions,” he said. “The media said that Juventus as a team were finished, but the standings show we are top of the table. We can use the criticism as motivation to get back into shape physically and mentally.” (Reporting by Brian Homewood, editing by Ed Osmond)

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