Predicting How Juventus Will Line Up Next Season in Serie A
Juventus will go into this summer looking to shore up minor deficiencies in their lineup. With a core of players that took them on a near historic 49-match undefeated streak in Serie A, they'll look to make only a few minor tweaks rather than wholesale changes.
Here is a breakdown of how Juventus will line up this season:
Their vaunted 3-5-2 formation will remain.
There is no need to change a formation which became the catalyst for their undefeated run and Scudetto winning season. Antonio Conte knows this and will go ahead with a formation that can easily become highly defensive or choke the opposition in their own half.
Even though the 35-year-old Gianluigi Buffon isn't immortal, he will undoubtedly be able to start another four years or so before a looming retirement comes in the picture.
Hardly tested domestically because of the rock solid defense in front of him, Buffon remains one of the best options in between the pipes. It's also time to start grooming his replacement.
The name that stands out is Nicola Leali, the young Juventus owned goalkeeper currently playing in Serie B.
It'll be interesting to see whether second choice keeper Marco Storari will look to find one last team to start at, or if he's content staying on the bench for another season.
Not much will change at the back for Juventus. Andrea Barzagli, Giorgio Chiellini, and Leonardo Bonucci will shield Buffon's net and provide cover.
It'll be interesting to see if Martin Caceres stays or goes elsewhere for more playing time.
Andrea Poli will arrive from Sampdoria to give added depth to one of their strongest departments in the formation. Although not expected to be a starter right away, Poli has the tools to play as a box-to-box type with plenty of offensive skills as well.
Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah will remain the two wingbacks, while the middle three positions will alternate between the mouthwatering cast of Andrea Pirlo, Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal, and Paul Pogba. It's hard to imagine any one of these four midfielders having to start from the bench, but it's not the most worrisome of problems for a team to have.
Here is the biggest problem for Juventus. Their lack of true quality up front was seen on a worldwide stage when they failed to test the Bayern Munich defense enough times.
Mirko Vucinic has his moments, but a spectacular performance is often followed up by 90-minutes of anonymity.
Nicklas Bendtner had about as much of an impact on Juventus as Francesco Amorosino had, and you have to reckon that either Fabio Quagliarella or Alessandro Matri will set sail this summer.
Sebastian Giovinco remains the biggest question mark. Not really loved by supporters at the Juventus Stadium, many expected more from the Atomic Ant. The problem with Giovinco is simple really—he's too small, lacks pace and isn't clinical enough in front of goal. While his footwork is excellent, he doesn't possess the characteristics to have a legitimate impact on a team with such lofty ambitions.
What we know for sure is that the arrival of Athletic Club striker Fernando Llorente is imminent. The Spanish giant was purchased in the January transfer window by the Bianconeri but will arrive to Turin at the end of this season.
Even though Llorente has rarely featured for Marcelo Bielsa's side this season because of disciplinary problems at the club, he will be hungry for a comeback and looks to give Juventus a striker who can score more than 15 times per season.
The Juventus starting XI will be undoubtedly stronger next season, as a strengthened attack will take them to the next level in Europe. They've already asserted their dominance domestically, but in the Champions League another gear is needed to make a real dent.
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