The hectic run of fixtures begins this Sunday for Juventus, with the Bianconeri hosting AS Roma in the eighth round of Serie A fixtures this term. Both teams have lost two games this season. However, Roma are four points ahead of Juventus, thanks to the former’s tally of 15 points from seven matches.
The encounter on Sunday, thus, will help one team either narrow the difference of points or extend the overall gap. Roma have enough artillery in their arsenal to hurt the Old Lady on Sunday.
On the other hand, Juventus will be without some of their best players, majorly due to injuries and their South American contingent returning to the club from their international duties late. The unavailability of some first-team players could come up as blessings in disguise for others.
Following a slow start to the season, Juventus have already fallen behind. They need to keep up the rhythm if they intend to remain in the race for the pinnacle. After 20 games, the Juve defence became successful in keeping a clean sheet in Serie A against Torino last time out.
Juventus, led by Massimiliano Allegri’s pragmatic beliefs, are likely to play out another passive ninety minutes of football this weekend. But even so, there will be some players with something to prove in the high-octane fixture against Roma.
3 Juventus players with something to prove against Roma
Here, we name three Juventus players, who have something to prove against Jose Mourinho’s AS Roma this weekend.
Mattia De Sciglio
When Mattia De Sciglio returned to Juventus after ending his season-long loan spell at Olympique Lyonnais last summer, there was a glut of unanswered queries. While some chose to overlook those by saying that the full-back would no longer be at Juventus under the supervision of Max Allegri, others were hopeful of seeing a rejuvenated De Sciglio, and a tiny section of fans standing between sheer pessimism and optimism foresaw the possibility of De Sciglio staying put at the club without much avail. It was indeed the full-back, for whom Juve had paid a transfer fee of around €12 million to AC Milan in 2017.
The only productive thing that has followed the confirmation of De Sciglio’s stay at Turin this season is his omnipotent presence as a cover for the full-back positions. Despite being right-footed, De Sciglio has an uncanny ability to play down both flanks. Per Fbref.com, the Italian has made three appearances in Serie A, with two of them being starts thus far.
If not too swift, he is good enough to do a job out on the field. Known for his defensive stoutness, De Sciglio lacks the offensive thrust of the archetypal modern full-back. And owing to that, Juventus might have to be more dynamic in finding ways to expose the Roma defence other than relying upon the deliveries of De Sciglio.
The 28-year-old will find himself in the position, regularly occupied by Alex Sandro, on Sunday against the Giallorossi. Sandro has been decent this season. Perhaps De Sciglio would not be able to usurp his position in Allegri’s starting line-up with just one outstanding performance. But an eye-catching outing on Sunday evening would be adequate to please those still keeping faith in the Milan-born full-back.