The Nerazzurri are on stunning form going into Saturday night’s Derby d’Italia, but first face a wounded Samp side.
“I think Sampdoria started well, but have only slowed down recently in terms of results rather than performances,” argued the Coach in his Press conference.
“I therefore await a side that wants to turn around that negative trend by making the most of the characteristics that can cause us problems.”
Antonio Cassano was on the bench for Sunday’s 3-1 win in Bologna due to neck pain, while Stramaccioni was asked whether he’d rest Andrea Ranocchia and Fredy Guarin to ensure they don’t pick up costly yellow cards.
“Cassano is feeling better and trained with us today, so hopefully he should be there tomorrow. As for the players on a yellow card, in my eyes there is only the game with Samp, so I will put out the best team to beat our next opponents.
“I am good at not thinking about Juve. I am focused only on preparing for the Sampdoria match in minute detail. Besides, one can only talk about the meeting with Juventus being a head-to-head at the top of the table if we beat Sampdoria first.”
The Nerazzurri have really taken off since Stramaccioni switched to a three-man defence, but he explains it is not as radical a change as first thought.
“When you play against a team that uses wide forwards or tries to spread the play, it can transform the defence into a four. In that sense, against Catania Juan Jesus practically played as a left-back.
“So far with this system we have only conceded goals from midfielders, so the players who are not on the radar of my defenders. I have always got the sense of solidity from my defence. We saw in Sampdoria’s game with Napoli and Marcelo Estigarribia or Roberto Soriano are good at spreading a three-man defence.”
Juan Jesus is suspended, joining the injured Wesley Sneijder, Joel Obi, Philippe Coutinho, MacDonald Mariga, Cristian Chivu and Dejan Stankovic.
“Sneijder will not be ready to face Juventus on Saturday. After that game I hope to start the phase of his return to the field, then it’s up to the medical staff to give the all-clear.”
Stramaccioni was also asked about the recent controversy over Catania’s disallowed goal against Juventus.
“Up until what happened in Catania, I considered the experiment of using goal line referees to be positive. Perhaps I have a romantic vision of football, but I think it is best when seen and judged by human eyes.
“I do not believe the errors are all aimed in one direction. I think they were simply mistakes and nothing more. I saw no pro-Juventus trend.”