How Juventus Will Line Up Against Atalanta
Following their Europa League elimination, Juventus host Atalanta on Monday night, with a win enough to clinch the Serie A title. The loss to Benfica was a bitter blow, but lifting a third consecutive Scudetto would still be a remarkable achievement this season.
With no injuries or suspensions, over the following pages is a look at what can be expected from Antonio Conte as he sends out the Bianconeri in search of silverware.
If Roma fail to win against Catania on Sunday, Juventus would go into Monday’s match knowing the title is already theirs. Even in those circumstances however, Antonio Conte is expected to send out his strongest XI against Atalanta, giving them one last outing before giving the reserve players some minutes.
As such, Gianluigi Buffon should take his place between the posts for La Madama, the captain once again providing a guarantee for those ahead of him. He has made 87 saves this season according to Fox Soccer statistics, keeping 18 clean sheets in his 32 appearances thus far.
Having missed out against Benfica, it is likely Andrea Barzagli will return to the defence on Monday, stepping in to replace Martin Caceres on the right of the back three. He is expected to join regular team-mates Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini as Conte field’s his first choice trio at the back.
A troublesome calf injury has limited Barzagli to just 24 starts this season, but he is now seemingly fully recovered and ready to face Atalanta.
Arturo Vidal’s knee injury has taken much longer to heal than was originally expected, and despite returning to face Benfica the Chilean is likely to be rested here. The in-form Claudio Marchisio is certain to take his place, and the Turin native will hope to turn in another excellent performance.
Having seen the team fall behind against Sassuolo last week, the 28-year-old scored one goal and created another to help the Bianconeri seal three more vital points. He is likely to feature alongside creator-in-chief Andrea Pirlo, with Paul Pogba taking the last central midfield berth.
On the flanks, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Kwadwo Asamoah are the most likely candidates to start.
It may be in attack where where Antonio Conte will have the biggest dilemma, perhaps opting to look beyond his first-choice strike pairing of Carlos Tevez and Fernando Llorente if the title is already theirs. Both men netted in Monday’s win over Sassuolo, taking their combined tally for the campaign to an impressive 37 in all competitions.
They have each enjoyed excellent debut seasons on the peninsula, but could well be rested if Juventus no longer need victory to deliver the title. Two of Daniel Osvaldo, Mirko Vucinic or Sebastian Giovinco would likely deputise in that case, with the first pair possibly playing for their future at the club.