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'Even Ronaldo needs a rest!' - Sarri leaves out Juventus star for Lecce match

18:25 GMT+3 25/10/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo Maurizio Sarri
The Italian has revealed he is prepared to drop the Portuguese from his starting XI in the coming weeks as he affords him a rest

Cristiano Ronaldo will be rested for Juventus's Serie A encounter with Lecce on Saturday as head coach Maurizio Sarri weighs up the possibility of tinkering with his line-up.

Superstar forward Ronaldo has started all but one game for Juve this season and has five goals in 10 appearances across all competitions.

The Bianconeri travel to Lecce just four days on from completing a late revival against Lokomotiv Moscow, where Paulo Dybala's double earned a 2-1 win in the Champions League fixture.

And ahead of a busy run of games, Sarri is set to give Ronaldo a break as the forward has been left out of the club's squad for the upcoming match.

"With Cristiano, we speak often," he told a pre-match news conference.

"Even for him there will be need for rest. We'll see based on how he's feeling. I don't know when, we will decide.

"Right now we don't have a lot of options in order to completely rotate the squad. We'll change things with regards to the conditions of the players."

Centre-back Leonardo Bonucci is another who Sarri is planning on resting in the coming fixtures, although the Italian is in the squad this time around.

"Leonardo Bonucci has played a lot this season and he's needed to. We'll see if we can give him a rest over the next few games," he added.

Dybala's future at the Bianconeri was in doubt during the previous transfer window, with Manchester United, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain having been linked with a move.

But Sarri was not surprised by the Argentina forward's contribution against Lokomotiv, where goals in the 77th and 79th minute proved crucial.

"If we talk about an explosion with the one-two it is fine, but from the performance point of view Dybala has always played well this season, so I expected a good performance from him. I had no doubts," Sarri said.

"I expected a high-performance level because I know he has the qualities to provide it."

Juve are looking to win what would be their ninth Serie A title in a row this season, with Sarri's side currently one point clear at the top of the table after eight matches.

Antonio Conte's Inter look like they could well be the closest challengers to the champions, although they have already lost to their title rivals in a meeting at San Siro on October 6, with Gonzalo Higuain netting the winner.