Massimiliano Allegri drifted away from his traditional, pragmatic principles on Tuesday night as an exuberant Juventus claimed a 2-0 win away at Salernitana.
Considering their rather kind December schedule, this is a brilliant opportunity for the Bianconeri to build some momentum heading into 2022. The next four games are winnable bouts.
Nevertheless, for now, the focus is on Andriy Shevchenko’s Genoa, who visit Turin on Sunday night. In Salerno, we saw Juve drift away from the 4-4-2 that’s often inhibited their attacking potential this term with a 4-2-3-1 favoured on that occasion.
Reports in the media suggest Allegri’s going to stick with his configuration from Tuesday night. Although, the personnel is yet to be decided. Here’s what we think the Juve manager will go for against Genoa
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – Since returning from the November international break, Szczesny has had very little to do between the sticks in Juventus’ three Serie A contests. Allegri will be hoping that trend continues on Sunday night.
Juan Cuadrado (RB) – Cuadrado was given the licence to maraud in Salerno and he looked much more like his 2020/21 self. The Colombian will retain his place in the XI with Mattia De Sciglio returning to action next week.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – The Italian defender earned a rest in the week as Giorgio Chiellini partnered Matthijs de Ligt. While Chiellini barely put a foot wrong, we expect Bonucci to return to the team for Sunday’s contest.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – The Dutchman looked much more like his usual self on Tuesday night after struggling somewhat against Chelsea and Atalanta. De Ligt should start alongside Bonucci in this one.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – Knowing Allegri, we’ll probably see Alex Sandro back in the XI on Sunday night. But how could he do such a thing?! Pellegrini shone on Tuesday night and deserves to retain his place in the team up until the winter break.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – Locatelli was superb in midweek and he’s been the beneficiary of a greater central presence in Juve’s build-up phase. The Italian’s transformation into a deeper-lying midfielder hasn’t been easy, but his showing in Salerno depicted just how good he can be from that function. Allegri already confirmed he’ll play in his pre-match press conference.
Rodrigo Bentancur (CM) – We thought McKennie would be back for Sunday’s bout, but Allegri revealed that he’ll in fact return next week. That opens up another door for Bentancur to impress. The Uruguayan certainly took his chance last time out as he put in his most secure and efficient performance of the campaign.
Dejan Kulusevski (RM) – The signs were positive after Kulusevski earned a rare start on Tuesday. Rumours intensified later in the week over the Swede’s future with Tottenham and Arsenal lurking, and he’ll be keen to prove his worth in Bianconeri colours on Sunday. The period up until the winter break is huge for Kulusevski.
Paulo Dybala (AM) – A no-brainer. With Federico Chiesa sidelined, Dybala is the lead protagonist of this Juventus side. The Argentine produced a special display in the week and a similar performance will be enough to overwhelm Genoa on Sunday.
Federico Bernardeschi (LM) – Bernardeschi put in a dogged shift on Tuesday night and fully deserves to retain his place in Allegri’s XI. The Italian operated effectively from the left half-space last time out as he co-operated well with surging full-back Pellegrini down their flank. He offers so much more than Adrien Rabiot.
Alvaro Morata (ST) – Morata ended his barren run in Serie A amid a dynamic cameo performance off the bench in Juve’s victory over Salernitana. With Moise Kean failing to convince Allegri as a starter last time out, the Spaniard’s return to the XI is inevitable.