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Unwell Maurizio Sarri to miss Juventus’ first two Serie A games

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Juventus have confirmed the bad news that Maurizio Sarri will sit out of their opening two games of the new Serie A season.

Sarri, who missed Juventus’ 1-0 friendly win at Triestina on Saturday, is currently recovering from pneumonia. The illness has caused him to skip training for most of this week despite briefly returning on Monday.

Initially, the 60-year-old believed he just had the flu until tests this week led to a diagnosis of pneumonia. It aroused fears Juventus could be without their new manager for Saturday’s Serie A opener at Parma.

While confirming Sarri’s absence for this weekend, however, the Bianconeri also dropped a bombshell in revealing he won’t be around for the following week’s clash with title rivals Napoli.

“Maurizio Sarri underwent further medical tests today, which showed a good clinical improvement,” read a club statement.

“To completely recover from the pneumonia that hit him over the course of the past few days, the coach will not sit on the bench for the first two Serie A matches against Parma and Napoli.

“The decision was taken to allow the technician, who even today went to the JTC [Juventus Training Centre] to coordinate work with his staff, to resume regular activity as soon as possible.”

It will be the first time in history that Juventus have started the league season without a head coach.

Replacing Sarri in the dugout for both matches will be his assistant Giovanni Martusciello. The 47-year-old has a long history with the Juventus boss having worked under him at Empoli between 2009 and 2016.

On the other hand, though, the Serie A champions will begin their 2019/20 campaign with no major injury concerns. Only winger Marko Pjaca will be absent at the Ennio Tardini.

The showdown between Parma and Juventus will begin at 18:00 (CET).

FLORENCE, ITALY – APRIL 2017: Giovanni Martusciello manager of Empoli FC.