Massimiliano Allegri is gunning for his fourth Supercoppa Italiana title and third with Juventus when his Bianconeri side take on Scudetto holders Inter Milan at San Siro.
Andrea Pirlo won this trophy during his sole season at the helm and Juve’s Coppa Italia victory last May means they’ll compete in this game for the tenth straight year.
However, Juve have their work cut out if they’re to triumph on this occasion. Not only are Inter the best team in the country and currently on an eight-game winning streak in Serie A, but the Bianconeri are distinctly short-staffed for Wednesday’s bout.
Allegri will be without several key names for the Supercoppa including Federico Chiesa, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. Suspensions have also arrived at a sub-optimal time for the Bianconeri.
Nevertheless, the manager still has options at his disposal and there’s hope that Juve’s remarkable seven-minute comeback in the capital on Sunday evening would’ve provided Allegri with a blueprint moving forward.
Predicted Juventus XI for the 2022 Supercoppa Italiana
Thus, with that in mind, here’s our predicted Juventus XI for the 2022 Supercoppa Italiana against Inter.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Mattia Perin (GK) – Sunday’s hero, Wojciech Szczesny, has been ruled out of Wednesday’s clash as he’s yet to receive the green pass that’d allow him to play. Juve’s number one was the last player in the senior squad to be vaccinated and Allegri confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Perin will start in Szczesny’s place.
Mattia De Sciglio (RB) – Juan Cuadrado misses out due to suspension and with Danilo only just returning from a lengthy injury lay-off, De Sciglio is the only senior option to start at right-back. Although, Koni De Winter is expected to travel with the squad as backup. De Sciglio’s winner on Sunday was his first goal since 2017.
Daniele Rugani (CB) – Allegri was complimentary of Rugani’s display against Roma and he’s certainly beginning to garner the trust of his manager. The Italian responded well after being partly at fault for Tammy Abraham’s headed opener (woeful zonal marking was mostly to blame). Despite Leonardo Bonucci returning, Rugani is expected to retain his place in the XI.
Giorgio Chiellini (CB) – Chiellini recovered from COVID-19 in time for Sunday’s bout and he was required off the bench after Matthijs de Ligt was dismissed with ten minutes to go. The headband-loving Italian should partner Rugani in defence with De Ligt suspended.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – Alex Sandro’s ‘experience’ might be favoured here, but I hope Allegri goes bold and utilises Pellegrini on Wednesday. Alex Sandro was torched by Matteo Darmian in the last outing and I don’t even want to think what the powerhouse Denzel Dumfries will do to him.
Arthur Melo (CM) – It was the introduction of Arthur Melo (and Alvaro Morata) that kick-started a chain of events that swiftly culminated in Juventus coming back from the dead to beat Roma on Sunday. The Brazilian was typically secure and efficient off the bench at the Olimpico, with his presence freeing up Manuel Locatelli.
Manuel Locatelli (CM) – This could be the first time Allegri starts Locatelli as a bonafide #8 this season. He’s been reluctant to use both Locatelli and Arthur, but their effective dynamic on Sunday should convince the Italian boss to start the pair from the outset in the Supercoppa. Locatelli provides a goalscoring threat from midfield that Juve desperately lack. Give the fans what they want, Max!
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – Weston McKennie would complete the dream midfield triumvirate in the eyes of many Juventino, but I think the American will come off the bench as an impact sub on Wednesday. He has played 180 minutes over the past week. In his place, Rabiot would be the smartest option. While the Frenchman offers little from an attacking perspective, his defensive nous might come in handy. We saw Rabiot marshal Nicolo Barella effectively in last season’s Coppa Italia semi-final tie.
Paulo Dybala (RW) – Allegri must manage the minutes of a fragile Dybala, but the Argentine’s rest should come on Saturday as Juve host Udinese in Serie A. After an indifferent showing off the bench against Napoli, the Argentine produced several moments of magic on Sunday, none more notable than his exquisite finish in the first half. Should Allegri retain the 4-3-3, Dybala will drift in off the right and function between the lines (primarily in the right half-space).
Alvaro Morata (ST) – Morata produced a game-changing cameo off the bench at the Olimpico. His work for Juve’s second goal ignited an incredible comeback and he played a role in Dejan Kulusevski’s equaliser. The Spaniard played with a freedom that we’ve rarely seen this season, with his target man responsibilities reduced. A tough test against Stefan De Vrij awaits on Wednesday.
Federico Bernardeschi (LW) – Bernardeschi didn’t see the field on Sunday but he should return to the XI for the Supercoppa. His dogged work rate and versatility are invaluable in games like this. Juventus need him to fill the superstar void left by Chiesa, as he did in December.