The Italian season resumes after a three-month suspension due to the Covid-19 pandemic on Friday when Juventus, still chasing a possible league, cup and Champions League treble, host AC Milan in the return leg of their Coppa Italia semifinal.
The match, to be played behind closed doors at the Allianz stadium, should have been played on March 4 but was postponed by the Turin city government at 24 hours’ notice as the virus began to spread. The season was suspended altogether one week later.
Juventus are favourites to reach next Wednesday’s final after a 1-1 draw in the first leg on February 13 but coach Maurizio Sarri said that his side were venturing into the unknown after such a long layoff.
“None of the staff at this moment knows where the preparation is because we come off an abnormal interruption,” he said, adding that the stoppage was completely different to the usual close season.
“This is a unique situation, which does not give us any certainty, also because we have obviously not played friendlies. I am satisfied with what I have seen during these days in training, but the response during a game will be different.” Start forecasting your games Now on NaijaBet
Sarri feared that the risk of injury would be “very high” as the players would have lost muscular strength while their motivation was also an unknown.