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Juve boss Sarri may break up Ronaldo, Dybala and Higuain trio to include Ramsey against Cagliari

14:33 GMT 05/01/2020
RonaldoSarri - cropped
The Bianconeri head coach is considering a change in formation as his side prepares for their first Serie A outing following the winter break

Juventus coach Maurizio Sarri has hinted he could break up a front three of Cristiano Ronaldo, Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain against Cagliari, with Aaron Ramsey in contention to start.

Sarri bowed to pressure by using Ronaldo, Dybala and Higuain together in attack ahead of the mid-season break.

Although the star trio initially impressed in wins over Udinese and Sampdoria, they then started the 3-1 Supercoppa Italiana defeat to Lazio.

Sarri insisted at the time that loss was not due to his front line, yet speaking ahead of a return to Serie A action against Cagliari, he would not commit to sticking with the system.

The Italian boss may opt to use Ramsey instead, to help combat a talented Cagliari side boasting the likes of Radja Nainggolan, Nahitan Nandez and Marko Rog in the middle of the park.

"We'll see tomorrow," Sarri told a Sunday news conference of his line-up. "Ramsey also seems to be growing, so we will have to decide.

"We will need to take a lot of care. The Cagliari midfielders can start strong attacks, so we will need great balance on our part, especially in midfield.

"When you concede a lot of goals [before Christmas], you often place the blame on the defenders. But that's not always the case.

"In my opinion, the right protection has not been given to the defence. That's why we have been working on the movements of the midfielders."

Douglas Costa is still regaining fitness, but centre-back Matthijs de Ligt could be handed a recall, having not started since a league defeat to Lazio on December 7.

"He had a complicated period, with shoulder and adductor problems," Sarri added of the Dutchman. "He is very young, he rested because he had small problems, and [Merih] Demiral has grown a lot.

"He seems to be recovering, so we'll see for tomorrow."

Juventus this week completed the signing of Dejan Kulusevski from Atalanta for an initial €35 million ($39m, £30m), although he remains on loan at Parma.

Sarri said: "[Kulusevski] is a great prospect and it is important that the club is attentive to these young players and gets there first.

"There were no conditions [possible] where he could be available now."