​Juventus manager Maurizio Sarri has claimed that he has struggled to find a way to play Cristiano Ronaldo alongside fellow forwards Gonzalo Higuaín and Paulo Dybala.

Ronaldo apparently clashed with Sarri after he was substituted during November's 1-0 win over AC Milan, and he has rarely started alongside both Dybala and Higuaín, despite regular calls from fans to deploy all three together.

Maurizio Sarri,Cristiano Ronaldo

Speaking ahead of his side's 3-1 loss to Lazio on Saturday (via the ​Daily Star), Sarri insisted that playing the trio alongside each other would not work as ​Ronaldo's style of play does not complement that of his teammates.

“Right now, playing three forwards is difficult due to the characteristics of the players,” Sarri explained.

“You can't prohibit ​Dybala from dropping deep, and at the same time Cristiano's characteristics are not to play too central. We must take some precautions to fill the penalty area more.”


It was Ronaldo and Dybala who were given the nod on Saturday, with ​Higuaín coming off the bench to replace the Argentine late in the game, but that was not enough to stop ​Juventus from falling to their first defeat of the season.

Ronaldo gave his side the lead in the first half, but Lazio hit back with goals from Luiz Felipe, Sergej Milinković-Savić and Felipe Caicedo to leave Juventus two points behind league leaders ​Inter.

Having drawn 2-2 against Sassuolo during the previous game, in which Ronaldo and Higuaín started alongside each other, Sarri must find a way to help Juventus return to winning ways as soon as possible.

Paulo Dybala

However, it appears as though the answer will not be to play all three forwards at one. Sarri was so concerned about the potential logjam in attack that he was prepared to sell Dybala during the summer, but neither ​Tottenham Hotspur nor ​Manchester United could complete a deal.

Both Dybala and Higuaín have had plenty of minutes alongside Ronaldo this season, so they would likely be prepared to stay at the Allianz Stadium, but only if those regular opportunities continue.

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