Amid a busy festive schedule before the winter break, Massimiliano Allegri is set to rotate his starting XI for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Malmo.
It’s the final matchday in Group H with Juventus poised to finish behind Chelsea in the group after their 4-0 drubbing at Stamford Bridge on Matchday 5. In order to claim the top spot, they need the Blues to falter in Russia and take care of business themselves in Turin.
Chelsea’s current midfield woes offer a glimmer of hope for Juventini, but Thomas Tuchel’s side should be able to claim all three points even if Saul Niguez lines up alongside Jorginho or Ruben Loftus-Cheek.
Nevertheless, back in Piedmont, Allegri is poised to give several members of ‘The Outcasts’ – sounds like a noughties boy band, right? – chances to shine on Wednesday evening. We’ve seen a more dynamic iteration of the Bianconeri manifest in their last two Serie A outings with the manager slowly starting to find his winning formula.
3 Juventus players who must impress against Malmo in the Champions League
For some, the threat of drifting out of the manager’s plans indefinitely could become a harsh reality, but they could be blessed with an opportune time to impress against Malmo.
Here are three players who require a big performance in the Champions League on Matchday 6.
Alex Sandro certainly hasn’t been thrust to the periphery by Allegri this term, but he’s in real danger of losing his starting left-back spot for good. That’s because Luca Pellegrini is far better than what the majority of Juventini, and likely Allegri, initially perceived.
The dynamic Italian has faults and is far from the finished article, but there’s no denying that Juventus are a more exuberant and dangerous outfit with him in it. He’s a reliable source of width down the left; more athletic than Alex Sandro and more assertive in every phase.
The manager, though, is an admirer of the Brazilian and he views the veteran as an important experienced head in defence. Thus, the full-back isn’t going to fall off the face of the Earth, but he’s beginning to lose his grip on the starting left-back spot.
Pellegrini and Alex Sandro are expected to share minutes to close out the calendar year. Many expect the latter to start on Wednesday with the former poised to retain his place in the Serie A XI as Juve visit Venezia on Saturday evening.
For the veteran Brazilian, it’s about time he rediscovered the form that kept Pellegrini out of the side earlier this season.