Sassuolo boss Eusebio Di Francesco has revealed that his message to his men ahead of their clash with Juventus in Turin tomorrow evening is to show no fear.
The challenge of taking on the team he considers the strongest in Serie A may be a daunting one, but the newly-promoted Neroverdi have already come away from trips to Napoli and Roma with a point this season.
And it’s the memory of those achievements that the 44-year-old believes his side should take confidently into the 18.30 CET kick-off at Juventus Stadium.
Speaking at his pre-match press conference, Di Francesco began by describing the scale of the task that faces him and his men: “Juventus have shown themselves to be the strongest side in Serie A and Conte is the division’s best manager.
“We have great respect but won’t fear them, because we’ve given a good account of ourselves against other big teams.”
The Neroverdi picked up their first ever Serie A point away at Scudetto hopefuls Napoli and recently repeated the upset against Roma on 10 November. But Domenico Berardi, the side’s top marksman and the goalscorer against the Giallorossi, is suspended for Sunday’s clash; another factor which for Di Francesco means a herculean effort will be required.
“We have to show courage and match Juventus’ work rate if we’re to have a hope of emerging with a result. In my opinion we played a brilliant game against Napoli and did well to stay in it right until the end against Roma. The same thing will have to happen against Juventus. They’ve demonstrated that they’ve got something extra on all the other challengers.”
Di Francesco was the man who led Sassuolo to their historic first adventure in the top flight this season, and views competing at tomorrow’s state-of-the-art venue as a measure of how far the club has come.
“It’s a real point of personal pride to go to play at Juventus Stadium and an achievement we’ve earned through our success on the field.”