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How Juventus Will Line Up Against Lyon

Jack Alexandros RathbornContributor IIIApril 2, 2014

How Juventus Will Line Up Against Lyon

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    Laurent Cipriani

    Juventus enter Thursday's Europa League tie with Lyon looking to banish the memory of Sunday's nightmare at the San Paolo.

    The Bianconeri were poor against Napoli, who won comfortably, exposing the champions' inability to defend against wingers pushed high up the pitch.

    In a competition that the Italian champions are favourites for, especially due to the final being held at their own stadium in Turin, they will be expected to comfortably surpass this stage against Lyon.

    Here is how Antonio Conte is likely to line them up at the Stade de Gerland Thursday.

Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Buffon

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    Massimo Pinca

    Potentially the best goalkeeper in Europe on recent form, the Italy No. 1 was phenomenal at Napoli on Sunday.

    Making plenty of spectacular saves to keep Juve in it for 30 minutes, Juve could not capitalise on the lifelines provided to them by their 'keeper.

    Conte will hope he is not needed quite so much on Thursday.

Centre-Back: Martin Caceres

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    Massimo Pinca

    Martin Caceres is enjoying a prolonged run in the side due to the injuries to Andrea Barzagli and Angelo Ogbonna.

    Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini have also missed games, so the Uruguayan has been the most consistent presence in the back three.

    At times he has been excellent, but the Celeste international has also had moments of madness where he has been caught ball watching.

    Caceres will continue on Thursday regardless, though.

Centre-Back: Leonardo Bonucci

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    Carmelo Imbesi

    Bonucci has been the only defender to be in a decent spell of form.

    The Azzurri international has been alert, anticipating danger and making plenty of interceptions to break up the opposition's attacks.

    Bonucci was actually off the pitch during the opening goal on Sunday, and for a while, alongside Buffon, he was keeping the Partenopei at bay.

    Conte will hope Caceres and Chiellini will raise their games to a similar level moving forward.

Centre-Back: Giorgio Chiellini

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    Fabrizio Giovannozzi

    Chiellini has struggled in recent weeks, attracting plenty of conflict with opponents, such as the clash with Amauri against Parma, when he suffered an elbow to the head in an aerial dual.

    On Sunday, he was involved in an altercation with Dries Mertens, even if it was debatable as to whether his stray leg, which made contact with the Belgian's head, was intentional.

    Chiellini needs to control his temper in the physical battles and get back to basics.

Right-Midfield: Mauricio Isla

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    Carmelo Imbesi

    Mauricio Isla is slowly building the trust of Conte and is on the verge of displacing Stephan Lichtsteiner in the starting line-up.

    The Chilean is currently the beneficiary of a rotation policy between himself, his Swiss team-mate and Kwadwo Asamoah, whereby the former Udinese player can fill in on the left.

    He is enjoying his best run of games, with his body standing up in recent times, after a torrid run of injuries.

    It has been a long time coming, but finally, Juventini will be glad to see Isla producing quality in a Juve shirt.

Centre-Midfield: Claudio Marchisio

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    Felice Calabro'

    Claudio Marchisio will get a start against Lyon due to Arturo Vidal serving a suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards.

    Il Principino has needed to be patient this season, and with Paul Pogba's emergence this season, Conte has needed to cruelly drop the fans' favourite.

    Marchisio is still producing, with the sensational long-range goal against Cagliari springing to mind, which will please Cesare Prandelli ahead of the World Cup.

    An extended run of games in the run-in is quite possible.

    With a deeper run in the Europa League, Conte will have more opportunities to play the 28-year-old, especially with Vidal and Pogba struggling for form, in addition to Andrea Pirlo needing his schedule being managed.

Centre-Midfield: Andrea Pirlo

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    Massimo Pinca

    Pirlo was in devastating form from set pieces against Fiorentina and Genoa, but against Napoli on Sunday he was poor.

    Pirlo will need to be more accurate with his delivery and shooting from set pieces in order to give Juve a greater chance of victory.

    Pirlo will look to set a tempo. With Tevez looking to go long, and Vucinic willing to drop a little deeper, Lyon will be unable to suffocate Pirlo in the same way that Napoli did.

    By mixing up his distribution from in front of the back four, Juve can establish more control than they were able to Sunday.

Centre-Midfield: Paul Pogba

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    Massimo Pinca

    Pogba is not enjoying a good run of form, but his athleticism and ability to drive Juve from defence into attack is crucial to this side.

    The Frenchman has Conte's trust, otherwise he might have been dropped already, so the French international will continue to drive the Bianconeri forward in transition.

    His willingness to shoot from distance, despite a lack of success in recent months, also shows the character in the player, so we can expect him to continue showing against Lyon.

Left-Midfield: Kwadwo Asamoah

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    Massimo Pinca

    Asamoah has been superb this season, progressing his game substantially.

    With more quality and consistency in the final third, the Ghanaian finally has some quality to complement his athleticism and physical dominance.

    Asamoah will look to inject some pace into this side, and given he is able to put in a series of sprints throughout the 90 minutes, Juve finally have an outlet they can trust to feed the ball regularly.

Striker: Carlos Tevez

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    Massimo Pinca

    Carlos Tevez will return after suspension in the Napoli game.

    The Argentine has been in sensational form with seven goals in his last nine games.

    Without a goal in Europe this season, El Apache will be determined to find the back of the net against Lyon.

Striker: Mirko Vucinic

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    Massimo Pinca

    Mirko Vucinic has been out of the side in recent weeks due to injury, and beforehand, he was looking to reintegrate himself into the squad after a move away in January failed to materialise.

    The Montenegrin could be an option from the start to form a better partnership with Tevez, given Dani Osvaldo and Fernando Llorente are failing to fire.

    Vucinic will allow Tevez to lead the line, with the 30-year-old dropping deeper to link the midfield and the attack.

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