The Old Lady – Juventus
League position after Matchday 7: 7th (11pts)
Top scorers: Paulo Dybala & Alvaro Morata (two goals)
Early star: Manuel Locatelli
Key man in title charge: Federico Chiesa
Come on, admit it. You wrote the Old Lady off before we’d even entered September. I know you did.
Well, look at them now. Flying high in *checks notes* seventh following a historically bad start to Serie A that had them languishing in the relegation zone for a period that should be described than a little longer than ‘brief’.
Nevertheless, after picking up three successive domestic wins – all in rather unconvincing fashion, it has to be said – Juventus are in a position to strike. Massimiliano Allegri’s pragmatism means Juve will never thrill the masses, but they could nonetheless evolve into a counter-attacking juggernaut under their returning boss.
In Federico Chiesa and Paulo Dybala, they have stars in attack, while Manuel Locatelli has started brilliantly in midfield. Veterans Juan Cuadrado, Danilo, Alex Sandro and Leonardo Bonucci seem pivotal to Allegri’s cause, with Matthijs de Ligt blossoming under new management.
I have concerns over the sustainability of Allegri’s approach in Serie A and I suspect the Bianconeri to come unstuck on several occasions against inferior opposition. However, they have the makings of a team that thrives on the big night. It won’t be enough for a Scudetto triumph, mind.