A-League All-Stars V Juventus: How Juve Will Line Up in Sydney
The pre-season tour continues apace for Juventus this weekend, their latest friendly pitting them against an A-League All-Star team in Sydney.
After an emphatic victory over a similar Indonesian League side, the Bianconeri will hope to add to the air of positivity that once again surrounds the club.
Massimiliano Allegri appears to be learning quickly about the attributes of the players at his disposal, continuing to build upon the stellar work done by his predecessor. Antonio Conte’s 3-5-2 framework has once again become Juve’s default formation, with the new coach set to use that shape once again in Australia.
The game is likely to have a strange feel, with long-time captain Alessandro Del Piero likely to line up against La Madama for the first time in his career. The 39-year-old represented Sydney FC for two seasons, and he will wear the No. 10 shirt against his former club.
As the international players who represented their various nations at the World Cup begin to return to fitness, the side begins to once again resemble the one which tasted Scudetto glory in each of the last three years.
Over the following pages is a look at how Allegri’s side will look come kick-off, with the start of the 2014-15 season drawing ever closer.
Gianluigi Buffon is almost certain to start, having made his pre-season debut in Wednesday’s exhibition in Jakarta. The Juventus captain had very little to do in midweek, the team in front of him comfortably overwhelming their overmatched opponents.
Marco Storari will likely receive some playing time as Allegri protects the Italy No. 1. He has proven to be a more than capable backup since landing in Turin. Between them, the Bianconeri are well-covered in goal and both should have very little difficulty in this latest encounter.
Giorgio Chiellini was rested for the match against the Indonesian All-Stars, but he is likely to return here as he recovers from a busy summer. The big defender is likely to be joined by fellow World Cup star Martin Caceres, the Uruguayan continuing to deputise for Andrea Barzagli as the Italian misses the entire tour to nurse a long-standing calf injury.
Meanwhile, the match in Sydney could represent the best chance to rest Leonardo Bonucci. After returning from a season with Sassuolo, Luca Marrone looks set to continue his apprenticeship in the centre of the back three.
The fitness of Arturo Vidal continues to be a concern, although the Chilean seems set to recover in plenty of time for the new domestic campaign.
Without him, Allegri opted for a midfield trio of Andrea Pirlo, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio on Wednesday, and he is likely to do so again at the weekend.
Simone Pepe and Roberto Pereyra will be ready to step in, while Stephan Lichtsteiner should continue to patrol the right flank. Across from the Swiss international, the coach will choose between Kwadwo Asamoah and Patrice Evra for the final midfield spot.
Carlos Tevez was rotated to the bench in Jakarta, but the Argentinian should return to the starting XI here, as Allegri looks set to name his strongest possible side for the first time.
Beside him, Fernando Llorente will likely feature again, buoyed by a well-taken hat-trick against the Indonesians.
Sebastian Giovinco also continues to enjoy an excellent pre-season thus far and is expected to play a role at some stage.
Predicted Juventus XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Caceres, Marrone, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Pogba, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah; Tevez, Llorente