Picking the Ideal Juventus XI to Take on Bayern Munich
Juventus are in a tricky dilemma.
The Bianconeri have a comfortable lead at the top of Serie A, but due to being tasked with facing one of their most bitter rivals in Inter Milan this week, Antonio Conte might not be able to rest as many players as he would have liked.
Bayern will undoubtedly be the priority for the Old Lady, who have not made it a secret that they crave success in Europe to complete their return to prominence since the Calciopoli scandal.
With the first leg away from home, it poses a tactical problem for Conte, who will be toying with the idea of changing Juve's natural game in order to deal with such a dangerous side like Bayern.
Here is the ideal XI that Conte should select for the big game next week.
Goalkeeper and Defence
Gianluigi Buffon will obviously start in goal for the Bianconeri.
Due to his consistent excellence, some take the great man for granted, but Gigi is still at the very top of his game and on the basis of this season, the best goalkeeper in European football.
In front of the Italy No. 1 there will surely be Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci, but the question is whether Giorgio Chiellini joins them.
Chiellini is tipped to miss this weekend's Derby d'Italia, which many feel is a precautionary approach rather than a forced one by Conte.
If he does not make it, it poses a bit of a problem for Conte, as Martin Caceres remains a doubt due to recovering from a car crash during the international break.
Federico Peluso would be the obvious choice to replace Chiellini due to his ability to add balance on the left side.
This is probably the easiest department of the Juve lineup to predict, as it is the strongest midfield in European football.
Stephan Lichtsteiner and Claudio Marchisio were rested for the redundant second leg against Celtic in order to ensure that they would avoid a suspension for this game.
Andre Pirlo and Arturo Vidal will definitely join these two in the five-man midfield, and although Kwadwo Asamoah is the most at risk for a start, the Ghanaian is favourite to slot in on the left side.
Asamoah should be the best candidate to deal with Bayern's threat on the right, with Philipp Lahm tending to bomb forward to join up with either Arjen Robben or Thomas Müller.
Asamoah's pace is electric, and he should be able to track Lahm from deep, even getting in behind Chiellini (or Peluso) when Robben or Müller carry the ball forward.
This is the most fascinating area of the team up for discussion, as Conte has persistently tinkered with Mirko Vucinic's partner.
Alessandro Matri, Sebastian Giovinco and Fabio Quagliarella have all taken it in turns to line up next to the Montenegrin.
Vucinic is expected to rest against Inter in order to be fresh for Bayern, and that means that Giovinco or Matri seem to be fighting it out to win a start at the Allianz Arena.
If both of these players were to put in poor performances against the Nerazzurri and Quagliarella could make an impact as a substitute in that game, then the former Napoli star could be a shock inclusion.
I feel that both could give Bayern problems, with Giovinco's pace and mobility capable of hurting a rather slow Daniel van Buyten and Matri's clever movement inside the penalty area perhaps being problematic for Dante, whose reading of the game is his weakness.
In a real 50-50 call I sense that Matri will get the start due to having a bigger presence in attack, leaving Vucinic to roam free, which he prefers, rather than leading the line when Giovinco starts, as the Atomic Ant always drops between the lines.
Ideal XI and the Key Man
The key man is the ideal lineup listed below will be Mirko Vucinic, who was in sensational form against England during the international break.
The Montenegrin is entering his best form at the right time, and if he can drop deep and manage to pull Javier Martinez out of position, his vision can expose the holes left behind the Spaniard from the great off-the-ball runs by Marchisio and Vidal.
Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini (Federico Peluso); Stephan Lichtsteiner, Arturo Vidal, Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Kwadwo Asamoah; Mirko Vucinic, Alessandro Matri (Sebastian Giovinco).