Wednesday November 2 2016
How Juventus miss Dybala

Paulo Dybala’s absence makes the Bianconeri more functional, and Gaby McKay isn’t sure that’s a good thing.

Massimiliano Allegri has already confirmed that Paulo Dybala will not make his Juventus return before the international break. While the Bianconeri have won two of their three matches in the Argentinian’s absence, there has nonetheless been a significant impact on their style of play.

With the Old Lady preferring a 3-5-2 formation, much of the creative burden falls on the second striker. Dybala has played that role with aplomb since moving to Turin, buzzing around either Gonzalo Higuain or Mario Mandzukic. It’s a dynamic familiar to Bianconeri fans - think Roberto Baggio and Gianluca Vialli, or Alessandro Del Piero’s partnership with David Trezeguet.

However, with Dybala absent and Marko Pjaca also sidelined, Allegri has been forced to deploy Mandzukic and Higuain as a pair. In truth, it’s a rather ill-fitting dynamic. Both men are penalty box operators, uncomfortable with dropping deep and taking players on.

Higuain is the better of the two in this role, and has operated notably wider and deeper in the matches against Sampdoria and Napoli. Pipita doesn’t have the creative instincts of his compatriot though, and he’s looked frustrated while Mandzukic has been left isolated up top.

In the last three games, the Croatian has had just one shot - which, to be fair, he scored - while Higuain has found the back of the net just once. Both players work well with Dybala, but they don’t complement each other.

La Joya’s spell on the sidelines has also made the Bianconeri a more functional outfit. Against Napoli, there were only seven successful take-ons for the home side, all of them outside of the box and most of them out wide. Compare that to the win at Empoli, where there were 21 successful take-ons, mostly in central areas.

Of course, the Partenopei are a far better side than Empoli, but the switch is indicative of a shift in the creative burden. Most teams, especially in Serie A, will look to sit in and frustrate the champions. Dybala forces teams to come out, opening up space for others.

If the 22-year-old drops deep to receive the ball, his long-range shooting means he can’t be left alone. That forces teams to press him, and the youngster’s prowess in the dribble can unlock a stubborn side. If a midfielder drops back to deal with Dybala, it frees up Sami Khedira or Miralem Pjanic to get forward. Should a defender step out, there will be breathing space for Higuain or Mandzukic.

In his absence, the attacking burden is shifted to the wing-backs to an even greater degree. Of the four goals against Sampdoria, one was a Mandzukic header from a Cuadrado cross, two more were Giorgio Chiellini efforts after set pieces.

Against Napoli the first goal was again scored by a centre-back, Leonardo Bonucci volleying home in the aftermath of a corner. Higuain’s winner came after the ball broke to him on the edge of the Napoli box, the Argentinian having dropped deep only to see his chipped through-ball intercepted.

Having more than one way to win is essential for any side. Indeed, Napoli and Roma would do well to take heed of Juventus’ ability to get results in different ways. In the long-term though, the Bianconeri can’t keep relying on crosses and set pieces.

An option would be to use Alex Sandro and Cuadrado in more advanced roles and use a lone centre-forward. After all, it worked fantastically well for an hour against Bayern Munich last season and would allow Allegri to rest his injury-prone centre-backs.

The return of Claudio Marchisio should help, freeing Pjanic to take up a creative role further forward. In addition, the squad will achieve greater cohesion as the season progresses - it’s worth remembering at this point last season Allegri’s side had taken 15 points and still romped to the Scudetto. Right now they have 27.

However, it’s clear that Dybala’s absence is being felt. A win over Lyon would all but secure Champions League qualification, and Tips Daddy is where to find the odds on that happening tonight, but Juventus will need La Joya to be fit and firing if they’re to make the impact in Europe that’s expected of them.

Have your say...
very hard to judge who's right. your first argument in this whole thing is that Buffon gave an interview in which you say he said "yeah we cheat, everybody knows it and so they don't even try". And that really makes sense to you? Normal person would think i may have taken that out of context, maybe it wasn't translated right or any other rational explanation. You went straight to "i knew it, they're cheating and they're proud of it and nobody can touch them because they have money or what ever"?
on the 12th November, 2016 at 12:05am
i think you were going for Anonymwit there Doofus, you're so witty you missed that and it was so obvious. I just said that one of us stated the facts adn one of us lives in a land where facts are subject to mood and ones own prejudice. It's easy to cherry pick (or even invent in your case) one or two arguments that support your position and ignore everything else no matter how much somebody tries to make you see reality (take the blue pill and belive what ever you want to believe)
on the 11th November, 2016 at 11:43pm
@ Anonydimwit,
You can't be judge and party, just have the decency to let whoever reads our exchages to be judges of who's right, and this is my last message to Mr Dimwit.
on the 11th November, 2016 at 9:49pm
everything i've said are actually facts which can't be said about anything you presented here. you choosing to disregard the facts and believe your own thing is literally you making my point for me so thank you mr. doofus. truth is actually "that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality" and hence you wouldn't know it if it jumped at you and bit you on the ass. Juventus also played in 8 Champions League finals, that's another fact you can chose to disregard to forward your narrative
on the 11th November, 2016 at 6:20pm
You really are brain washed dim wit, say whatever you want, but the truth is that Juve is a dictatorship, a criminal organisation, who intimidates opponenents, drugs its players, buys referees, monopolises sports media for its propaganda, and above all, a big lion in Italy, and a musquito in Europe.End of the story.
on the 11th November, 2016 at 1:49pm
also Giroud and the doctor won their appeals quickly after that and the verdicts were overturned because the supstances weren't and still aren't and never will be goes your"judiciary" argument.please research the things you like to talk about,otherwise you come off looking like a doofus (no offense)and doofuses should be ashamed of themselves but they aren't becaue they don't know any better.they just lash out at other people and only ackonwledge arguments they like regardless of trut
on the 10th November, 2016 at 4:12pm
as you can see i don't have any delusions about the club i support.i care and that's why i'm hate and that's why you exaggerate and twist adn then you wonder why nobody else sees what you see.mental constructs of other people are very hard to see in the real world because they're not tangible and have no basis in reality. and now i've spent way too much time educating you, that's really soemthing you should want to do for yourself. there are no conspiracies, just conspiracy theories
on the 10th November, 2016 at 3:40pm
you can make a case for misusing legal medications to gain competitive edge, that's what a sane person would do but your condition turns it in to a nation wide conspiracy involving illegal supstances and junkies. excuse me if i call you on your bull then because that's exactly what it is. best way to ruin a flimsy argument is exaggeration. also Moggi asked for better referees, and had the same level of access as everybdoy else in the league, Facchetti (Inter) on the other hand cheated
on the 10th November, 2016 at 3:36pm
those are not banned supstances, that's the freaking point. you making stuff up doesn't make it true. you really need help man, that kind of hate is indicative of a deeper problem and it won't go away unless you seek help. i said some things about you thinking you're just trolling but now you got me feeling bad for making fun of you. there's a point where that kind of insanity stops being funny and turns sad. i wish you all the best, i trully do. "What a terrible thing to have lost one's mind"
on the 10th November, 2016 at 3:10pm
@An.. you don’t get it do you?
You talk about Zidane, ignoring the rest which is official “historical record”, a crime is a crime, be it 10, or a 1000 years old, Juventus is a criminal organisation according to the judiciary. They were taking banned substances, and got away with it, in a spaghetti republic, it is very common, especially for the big and powerful like Juve, and you are just a little insignificant soldier supporting blindly the cheating horse, shame on you, and your likes.
on the 10th November, 2016 at 12:07am
Zidane didn't make it up but you did,he never said that.He did say he was taking Creatine and that's your big doping scandal, athletes taking Creatine and Voltarens.Those are the things that are coming out? you make a statement like that, like you're in the know how about some big undergoing investigation and you back it up by stuff that happened 10 and 12 years you know which club in Italy was actually guilty of actual cheating(article six violation)? i'll give you a hint, it's not Juve
on the 9th November, 2016 at 11:36am
@ Ravguvnah+Anonymous,
You can say what ever you want,Judges have found Juve and its staff gulty, they are paranoid conspiracy theorists, they made up Moggi's telephone coversations, dind't they?
What about Bettega and his friend Giraudo,not only did they resign, but also pleaded guilty.
What about Zidane's testemony about the entire squad being junckies, did he make it up?
So there you have it, the entire club is rotten, have some decency and admit it.
on the 7th November, 2016 at 4:34pm
@Ravanelli - that's why i come here, i can never get enough of his conspiracy theories and of him ending his comments by telling others to shut up (the equivalent of putting his fingers in his ears and yelling "NANANANANANANANANNANANANANANANAN") like a big baby he is :)
frankly the rare glimpses of his reality i catch through his comments are fascinating. i asked him once if there are unicorns there but he unfortunately didn't respond :(
on the 7th November, 2016 at 12:07am
oh Mclupo like i already said once here you are just too precious. nobody can take stuff out of context (made up stuff at that) and spin it in a way that suits his narrative quite like you can. you heard him guys and gals, "stuff" is coming out (stuff only he seems to know about), we're finished and should all be ashamed. the conspiracy that started 119 years ago is unravelling and Mclupo was the only one who saw it coming. also that european mouse played in 8 champions league finals
on the 6th November, 2016 at 11:55pm
@ McClown

Oi oi govnah, run out of arguments?
I already explained Buffon's quote and Gazzetta confirmed the meaning like I said.
Sickos like you though will flip everything around to fit their narrative.

Your best argument is "shut up" lol

All your "arguments" are "Juve are cheats, referees, corrupt system, conspiracy" blah blah stuff that you talk about in every comment on every blog no matter what the topic is... Like a true obsessed sore loser.

Go on clownie for another 10 years, please don't shut up now. Oii
on the 6th November, 2016 at 9:41am
Oii RavaKinda, when you run out of arguments, you should a "Kinda"shut up, you make a "Kinda"fool of yourself. "Kinda".
on the 5th November, 2016 at 10:01pm

I gotta give it to ya, you're entertaining, in a sad kinda way.
Making assumptions about someone you don't even know, just like how you're making your assumptions and your own little theories in your head about Juve. You're clearly obsessed.
"Shut up" "shut it" lol
I won't tell you to shut up though, your constant rambling is kinda funny.


Nah, you're the one who's paranoid that you needed to reply further.
I said "whatever you say", but you had to yap a little more.

I'm actually 12, and picked the name Ravanelli from a hat, I don't even who that guy is.
on the 5th November, 2016 at 5:48pm
Juventus, a big lion in Italy, a small mouse in Europe,thanks to a rotten corrupt system, that is the sad truth about its army of brain washed tifosi who think they invented fire by supporting the biggest cheat ever in Football history, stuff is coming out, you're finished.
on the 5th November, 2016 at 11:45am
@Pennabianca,you were not born yeat when I saw Ravanelli for the firs time. You say Gazzatta is liying now, and what about Marocchi? Why would Italian teams fear Juventus, because they are always helped in all aspects. Refereeing, intimidation, briberies you name it, you should shut it for ever Pennabianca.
on the 5th November, 2016 at 11:41am

Sore losers, in case you didn't know, Gazetta "paraphrased" and fabricated that whole story.

And why would Allegri, the coach, need to say anything when the club can release an official statement?

But for the sake of argument, even if Buffon did say that, he clearly means that Italian teams fear Juve. It's something deeply rooted in Italian football that Juve is the biggest club in Italy. Which is true whether you like it or not. But in Europe it's different. It has nothing to do with "cheating", why would Buffon say that? Are you really that dumb?

But you go ahead and live in your miserable fantasy world. Not once have I seen you talk about football. Always bitching about Juve like a little baby.
on the 5th November, 2016 at 7:47am

sounds like you're a little paranoid. If that's the case you won't do well on these threads.

How long have you been a fan of Juve by the way? Do you know who Ravanelli is, or are you just using the name of a old player as disguise?
on the 5th November, 2016 at 6:23am
Juventini, in case you did not know, Buffon has just confirmed what Marocchi said about them a year ago; “Juventus wins in Italy only because Italian teams do not want to put up a fight against them”.
This makes Juventus the biggest cheat in at least Italian sport’s history. Allegri has not said a word, neither are football commentators.
So wake up Juventini, it is not a theory, it is a real conspiracy, you should be ashamed of yourselves for supporting the cheating horse, and shut up.
on the 5th November, 2016 at 12:29am

Sure, whatever you say buddy boy.


I've always heard about Allegri's injuries. I even remember when Morata arrived and got hos knee injured before even making his debut.

Injuries are starting to pile up.
I hope this is just a string of bad luck rather than a bad training regime.
on the 4th November, 2016 at 7:48pm

I simply meant that Juve have a different mentality for Seria A it seems, as they have had their struggles in European competition.

You've got it all wrong I'm afraid. Not everyone's out to stir the pot on this thread.
on the 4th November, 2016 at 5:23pm
How many times can we hear the same post match, at least we got the points,or we ran too many risks, well its simply, stop doing the same things, don't sit back, take control of the game, press high up, play the young lad kean who people say is good, just stop being a fool for God's sake. I am getting sorely depressed with Allegri. Look what Klopp has done with a poor Liverpool side, they are fantastic to watch, and I hate them, but I cant deny it, they play with pace
on the 4th November, 2016 at 7:48am
Manduzic is a shocking player also. Now we have the typical Allegri injuries cropping up, constant strains, yet nobody ever questions why this keeps happening, must be his training, why will he not use rugani who did excellent last year when he stepped in, we will lose those good young players to keep playing a bunch od 34 year olds alves, evra etc etc. Its frustrating, and I have yet to be impressed with a performance this year
on the 4th November, 2016 at 7:46am
If Juve were playing well the league would be over, they would have beaten inter and Milan and that would be it, as it is they were out played by both teams (more by a poor inter team. To draw against Lyon, to have Sevilla billed as a tough game says everything sadly about Italian football today. Napoli struggling in Europe, inter against Southampton, hardly a top English team. I despair. Allegri is doing an awful job at the minute. Hernanes is shocking, cudrado should start regularl
on the 4th November, 2016 at 7:43am

"Guaranteed if this was a Serie A match, Juve would've somehow found a goal."

Very original.

But then again it could happen if we get a couple of assists from Ghoulam.
Oh but then it would be Juve just being lucky.
on the 4th November, 2016 at 12:32am
Allegri needs to play his players in their best positions.
Dybala was amazing last season but less so this season because of his new different role.

Hernanes is made to look bad when he plays as a regista, a role he clearly isn't comfortable with. I really think Hernanes will be great behind the strikers, a trequartista if you like, he shoots well too. He was great with Lazio in that role.

Pjanic needs to be given more freedom rather than any defensive roles.

Formations should fit the players, not the other way around.
on the 4th November, 2016 at 12:25am
Shocking that a club who have spent the money that Juve have can't put away Lyon, and some people blame it on the absence of one player.

A mountain of money paid for a guy who's job is to score the goals in the ECL wasn't it?

Guaranteed if this was a Serie A match, Juve would've somehow found a goal.
on the 4th November, 2016 at 12:09am

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