Outspoken Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has told Gazzetta dello Sport that he’d like to see coach Maurizio Sarri rest some of his biggest names on Tuesday night against Manchester City.
Napoli face the Blues in between two huge games that could help define their chances of winning Serie A and ending Juventus’ domination of the Italian league. The Partenopei already picked up an impressive win on the road at Roma on Saturday, but face the team nearest to them, Inter, this coming weekend.
It makes tomorrow’s Champions League game very awkward in terms of timing, but with Napoli needing points having lost one of their first two games, Sarri must decide whether to field his best eleven or be more pragmatic.
The view of De Laurentiis is clear – he perhaps sees a chance to pull ahead in Serie A with Napoli five points ahead of Juventus following eight weeks of games.
“I think in this match we need to rest those players who have played more minutes than the other players in order to preserve them,” the film producer turned Napoli owner told Gazzetta.
“The match against Inter is at our door and is equally important.”
Pep Guardiola has showered praise upon Napoli, saying they play the best football in Europe. De Laurentiis sees this as a mind game and isn’t impressed.
“I don’t want Guardiola’s compliments unfocusing our players. He is an old fox and knows that the quality of his players is remarkable. It could be an impossible match for us to win but (if so) then we will wait for them to come to Naples.”
Will Sarri rest players on Tuesday or is this Aurelio De Laurentiis’ attempt at mind games? An intriguing Champions League night is in store for fans at the Etihad Stadium.