How will Massimiliano Allegri manage Juventus’ midfield injury crisis on this occasion? After Manuel Locatelli sustained a knee injury in the Derby d’Italia two weeks ago, Arthur Melo picked up an ankle issue in the build-up to Saturday’s game.
The Brazilian’s status is in doubt for Bologna’s visit to the Allianz Stadium, and it’s unlikely that the metronomic midfielder will make Allegri’s matchday squad.
The boss does have options, however. Against Salernitana, with Locatelli missing due to Covid, Allegri used Danilo in midfield with young Fabio Miretti making his Serie A debut off the bench. Miretti is in contention for Saturday’s bout, and he should be among the substitutes once more.
Juventus’ predicted XI vs Bologna
But what decisions will Allegri make elsewhere? Here’s our stab at predicting the Juventus starting XI for the upcoming Serie A clash against Bologna.
Goalkeeper & Defenders
Wojciech Szczesny (GK) – Mattia Perin’s contract extension suggests that the Italian believes he can eventually usurp Szczesny as Juventus’ number one. However, for the time being, he’ll remain on the bench as the Polish international continues to go about his business.
Danilo (RB) – Allegri may be forced to use Danilo in midfield following Arthur’s injury but I think he’ll go down a different path. Thus, the reliable full-back will continue in his usual function this weekend.
Leonardo Bonucci (CB) – Bonucci returned to action in typical fashion last weekend as Allegri switched to a back five to close out the contest. I think the veteran Italian makes his first start since February on Saturday, replacing Giorgio Chiellini in the XI.
Matthijs de Ligt (CB) – I thought De Ligt would’ve earned a rest against Cagliari but it seems that if he’s fit, he’ll start. That’s the case this weekend.
Luca Pellegrini (LB) – The dynamic Italian has looked good in his last two starts and he deserves to keep his place in the team. Although, Allegri can once again call upon the services of Mattia De Sciglio.
Federico Bernardeschi (RM) – Bernardeschi hasn’t started for Juventus since mid-January, but their injury woes, combined with Juan Cuadrado’s potential absence, means Allegri might be forced to play him on Saturday. The Italian will hold the width down the right, but there’s scope for him to rotate his position depending on how far the right-back advances.
Denis Zakaria (CM) – Zakaria has impressed since returning from injury, making his first start in over a month against Cagliari. He’s a shoo-in for Saturday.
Adrien Rabiot (CM) – It was a more subdued performance from Rabiot last weekend following his majestic display in the Derby d’Italia. Nevertheless, with Allegri’s options scarce, the Frenchman will start alongside Zakaria and potentially perform a deeper-lying function.
Alvaro Morata (LM) – Morata’s back after a brief hiatus. The Spaniard has occasionally performed this more defensive role since Dusan Vlahovic joined the club. With the ball, he’ll advance to join the front two.
Paulo Dybala (SS) – Dybala grew into the game considerably last Saturday following a dismal start. He played a crucial role in the winner, with his magic so often required against deep-lying defences. I don’t think there’s any doubting whether La Joya will start on Saturday.
Dusan Vlahovic (ST) – It hasn’t been all plain sailing for the Serb in recent weeks, often struggling to shake off persistent man-markers, but he grabbed a much-needed goal in Sardinia. The tempestuous but diminutive Gary Medel awaits Vlahovic in this one.