Real Madrid Vs Juventus: Scouting Juventus

Gabriele Maltinti

'La Vecchia Signora' has won two Serie A titles in a row, but Antonio Conte's team didn't make a good impression during last season's Champions League. After signing Carlos Tévez and Fernando Llorente, Juventus will try to bounce back from a disappointing start of their European campaign.

Carlos Tévez and Fernando Llorente are two great signings for a team that already won the last two Scudettos. But Juventus still depend too much on Andrea Pirlo. The Italian midfielder is already 34 years old and he showed some worrying signs during the last FIFA Confederations Cup as we discussed in the latest episode of our podcast. Pirlo probably doesn't have the body to control the tempo of the game against elite teams, so young wonder kid Paul Pogba should be important as the season advances.

Juventus still are the best Italian team. With a three-man defensive line, Antonio Conte's team is always hard to beat. Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci know how to play together. They're not fast, but they have the experience needed to stop most of the strikers playing against them. Furthermore, Lichsteiner and Asamoah's pace on the wings are helpful to contain the opposition's fastest players. Both wing backs might not be enough to stop Bale/Di María and Cristiano Ronaldo, so Real Madrid should probably attack Juventus' 5-3-2 through both flanks. Lichsteiner stayed in Italy injured, so Isla or Padoin could be starting on Juventus' right wing.

Pirlo is usually escorted by Marchisio and Vidal, but the Chilean player could miss the game with an injury. Vidal's on Conte's list though, and considering his team's desperate need of the three points after getting two draws against Galatasaray and Copenhaguen, Vidal could and should end up starting the match at the Bernabéu.

Marchisio's reliability cannot match Pogba's talent anymore, so Conte will probably realize that his team is better off with the French midfielder on the pitch. Marchisio will surely be relegated to a much-more secondary role throughout the season. Pogba is still an immature player who gets sent off too many times, but he's definitely a player to look out for in the future.

Conte will have to chose two players out of Quagliarella, Llorente and Tévez to start the match against Real Madrid. Giovinco could also be an option, but he's not a pure striker and his adaptability to Juventus' system is not great. Most of the analysts expected Llorente to be juventus' starter alongside Tévez, but the Spanish forward has not been getting a lot of minutes since he signed for 'La Vecchia Signora' as a free agent last summer. It seems that Conte would rather have Vucinic -injured for Wednesday's match- and Tévez upfront, and even Quagliarella has been competing for Llorente's spot. Tévez is arguably Juventus' best striker, and he's aiming to prove himself as a top striker after some tough seasons playing for Manchester City.

Gianluigi Buffon will defend Juventus' goal. He's the team captain and at age 35 he's already showed that he's not as good as he was some years ago. His agility is not there anymore and he struggled a lot against Brazil during the FIFA Confederations Cup. Juventus will probably need to sign a goalkeeper soon.


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