Juventus have encountered a massive dilemma, with the Bianconeri missing a plethora of players through injuries. The misery inflicted by the recent knocks has massively weakened the team’s defence, making them light at the back.
Despite winning the game 1-0 against Fiorentina on Saturday, Massimiliano Allegri’s men were far from impressive. Fiorentina went toe-to-toe with the hosts and impressed in spells with their structured possession play. But in the end, Juventus won the game thanks to Juan Cuadrado’s late strike.
The 91st-minute winner from the veteran Colombian helped Juve avoid another embarrassment, as they were playing with a one-man advantage after Nikola Milenković had picked up a second yellow with 20 minutes remaining for his deliberate foul on an onrushing Federico Chiesa.
Although Juventus’ performance at the weekend certainly put several concerns and debatable questions in the minds of Juventini, Allegri’s primary worry is the ongoing crisis regarding the fitness of some of his players.
Juventus receive injury updates after the Fiorentina game
Due to injuries, Allegri was forced to make some changes to the starting line-up against Fiorentina at the very last moment.
Saturday’s starting XI saw Mattia Perin make his third Serie A start of the season and Daniele Rugani replace Giorgio Chiellini at the heart of the defence. In the second half, Alex Sandro made way for Luca Pelligrini, with Mattia De Sciglio still nursing his muscle injury.
In his post-match press conference, Allegri spoke about the injuries and provided an update. Speaking to the media, the five-time Scudetto winner said (as reported by Football Italia):
"“Szczesny fell on a ball yesterday, he could not stretch, so he could not make saves.“Chiellini has had a flexor or adductor problem. I left him out precautionary. Bonucci had a problem before the game, but he was already supposed to rest against Verona.“Alex Sandro had an adductor problem while Moise Kean will be ready after the break.”"
What is the latest on Chiellini and Bonucci?
It was previously reported (via Calcio Mercato) that both Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci would visit the Coverciano sports centre and join the rest of the Italian national team members for their upcoming international matches against Switzerland and Northern Ireland, but would return immediately to Juventus after checking in with Roberto Mancini. The fear was that they would withdraw from the national squad due to their ongoing injury owes.
But, in the latest press conference conducted by Azzurri boss Mancini, the Euro-winning coach confirmed:
"“Chiellini and Bonucci are fine, we’ll train today and tomorrow, and we’ll assess everyone’s condition.”"
With Mancini confirming that they would assess “everyone’s condition”, it’s assumed that they’re yet to know the full extent of the defenders’ injuries. Thus, it’ll be interesting to see whether or not the former Manchester City manager decides to send them back to Continassa after carrying out the said training sessions.
What could be the ramifications for Juventus?
If Mancini considers them fit and then plays the duo in the upcoming matches against Switzerland and Northern Ireland, it could lead to severe ramifications for Juventus. Over the last two years, Chiellini and Bonucci have had their fair share of injury woes. Last season, the latter endured two muscular injuries, while the former sustained as many as six knocks.
Playing an unfit Bonucci or Chiellini during the impending international break could increase the likelihood of another serious injury or worsen the current ones. When it comes to defensive cover back in Turin, Rugani and Matthijs de Ligt remain the only senior options at centre-back, with the club hierarchy letting both Merih Demiral and Radu Drăgușin leave on loan in the summer transfer window.
Mattia Perin did an adequate job against Fiorentina, keeping a clean sheet at the weekend. Juventus fans and Allegri will also be hopeful of the quick return of Alex Sandro, with Luca Pelligrini looking unready to match the intensity of Serie A week in, week out.
The Piedmontese club faces Lazio in their next Serie A fixture on November 20.