Friday December 29 2017
‘Juventus could change midfield’

Juventus Coach Max Allegri admits he switched to a midfield three because “we conceded a lot of goals” at the start of the season, but could change it tomorrow.

Miralem Pjanic is out injured for the trip to Verona, but with three central midfielders the Bianconeri have kept eight clean sheets in a row.

“There’s no ideal pair, because I have so many players who can play together,” Allegri explained in his Press conference today.

“There’s [Sami] Khedira-[Blaise] Matuidi, [Rodrigo] Bentancur-Khedira, [Claudio] Marchisio-Matuidi… all pairs who could play together.

“All I have to evaluate is Matuidi, because he missed half a training session and returned to the squad yesterday, so I need to see what condition he’s in.

“Last year we played with two midfielders and four in attack, and one of those in the middle of the park was Pjanic, but the two wingers worked really hard and helped a lot in defence.

“At the start of this season we conceded a lot of goals, so I had to change it a bit.

“Maybe in a month or two we’ll play with one in midfield, or play with three at the back, it just depends on the situation.

“The most important thing is for the team to know how to play in various systems and interpret games according to how we have to deal with them.

“Tomorrow? I still have to evaluate the defence, [Andrea] Barzagli will be rested because he’s coming off a period where he’s played a lot so between [Giorgio] Chiellini, [Daniele] Rugani and [Medhi] Benatia, two will play.

“[Stephan] Lichtsteiner will come back in, then on the left I have to choose between Alex [Sandro] and [Kwadwo] Asamoah.

“On Wednesday we have the quarter-final of the Coppa Italia, a derby [with Torino] in which we have to go through.

“Right now Cuadrado is out so we can play with three in midfield and three up-front with very different characteristics.

“Then we’ve got a game three days after that, and with Torino maybe [Gonzalo] Higuain could stay out, or [Mario] Mandzukic could stay out, or [Paulo] Dybala could stay out.

“Then, two days after that, we have Cagliari and then we come back in a month when maybe someone will have dropped off a bit and will have to stay out.

“Or maybe we’ll rest someone to give him a bit of extra motivation: sometimes the bench can be good.

“The important thing is for there to be competition within the group as there is now, everyone is in good shape.

“No-one likes the bench so they’re all working hard. I think that’s important, because Juventus have a very good squad and everyone should be looking to do more than their teammate.

“The important thing - as I always say - is that each individual makes himself available to the others, because at the end of the day it’s them who win.

“So those who give us great satisfaction will be the ones who go onto the pitch.”

Read the betting preview for Verona vs Juventus here

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