Zdenek Zeman promises “an open and spectacular game” between Cagliari and his tactical protegee Eusebio Di Francesco’s Sassuolo.
It kicks off tonight at 19.45 UK time (18.45 GMT), click here for a match preview.
“Sassuolo invested on the market and have some talented players like Berardi, Zaza and Floro Flores,” noted Zeman in his Press conference.
“They are trained by one of my former players, Di Francesco. Last season his team played entertaining football, even though the results didn’t always arrive.
“We mustn’t be frightened of their forwards, as our strikers are no less impressive. It will be an open and spectacular game between two attack-minded teams.”
Di Francesco certainly adopted Zeman’s 4-3-3 system and focus on attack at all times, including the veteran Coach’s assertion horizontal passes are “pointless.”
Victor Ibarbo, Daniele Dessena and Sebastian Eriksson are unavailable for Cagliari, but Daniele Conti wears the captain’s armband.
“Conti has been here for over 10 years and that means he is an important player,” said Zeman, who also worked with him at Roma.
“I found him more mature than when he started out. He has great quality.”
The Coach also explained why he only called 19 players for this trip to Sassuolo when in Serie A you can have an entire squad on your bench.
“I find it pointless bringing players I have no intention of using. Why call 23 or 24 if I’m not going to play four or five of them?”
Cagliari squad for Sassuolo: Colombi, Cragno; Avelar, Balzano, Capuano, Ceppitelli, Murru, Pisano, Rossettini; Capello, Crisetig, Conti, Donsah, Ekdal; Caio Rangel, Cossu, Farias, Longo, Sau
Check out OLBG.com's list of ££ Free Bets from UK bookmakers before placing your bets!