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Ranieri: “Juve are a team of top players but we won’t lie down”


Ranieri: “Juve are a team of top players but we won’t lie down”

Claudio Ranieri is under no illusions as to the size of the task facing his Sampdoria side when they take on reigning Italian champions at Marassi on Wednesday night – but the Doria coach is expecting his team to give the Bianconeri a tough test all the same.

“Juventus have so many top players that it will be tough regardless of who plays,” said Ranieri in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday. “[Maurizio] Sarri is a capable coach and gradually he’s getting the team to play according to his style: I see a bright future ahead of them. We definitely won’t be giving in before we’ve even played the match – we’ll try to play our own game with our league standing in mind.”

Samp are coming into the game off the back of the 1-0 win over Genoa in the Derby della Lanterna on Saturday night, but Ranieri was quick to stress that the focus is now exclusively on the visit of Juventus.

“The derby was great, especially because of the three points, but personally I always focus on the next game straight away, whether it’s in three days or a week,” he said. “We’re focusing exclusively on Juventus now. A few more days to recover would have been good. We’re up against a team of great players and athletes but we will try to recoup our energy so we can play our own game. We’ll need to put the running in – that’s for sure.”

The visit of Juventus is the final game of the year for Sampdoria, with the Christmas period bringing with it an opportunity to take stock of the season so far.

“The battle for safety will be hard right until the end because this is a strange season,” he said. “We need to take it game by game. I can promise the fans hard work, sacrifice and graft for the shirt. That’s the only thing I can promise because that’s the way I am.”

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