How Juventus could line up against a rejuvenated Udinese

Sunday, August 22nd, 2021 18:34 |
Juventus’ Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (right) speaks to team mate Paulo Dybala during their Italian Serie A football match against Udinese and Juventus at the Dacia Arena Stadium in Udine, on May 2, 2021. Photo/AFP

Juventus are expected to use a 4-3-3 formation when they lock horns against Udinese in a Serie A encounter.

Manuel Locatelli is expected to make his debut from the bench after joining Juventus earlier this week, while Federico Bernardeschi will start due to the absences of Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot.

Jean-Victor Makengo has good chances of becoming a starter in midfield if he can put in a couple of good displays, while 18-year-old Destiny Udogie will start at left wing-back.

The departures of Rodrigo de Paul and Juan Musso leave Udinese weakened at both wings, and the loss of the former can't be underestimated given how influential he was for the Friulani during his stay.

However, a fit Roberto Pereyra and Gerard Deulofeu could step up to fill the void left by the previous captain.

At the other end, the return of Massimiliano Allegri hasn't been backed up by signings except  Locatelli, who can play as a defensive or attacking midfielder in Juve's 4-3-3.

Juventus are favourites to win the 2021/2022 title after last season's disappointing campaign under Andrea Pirlo with Argentine Paulo Dybala and Federico Chiesa are certainly ones to watch this season.

The Allegri coached side dropped too many points against sides bound for a bottom-half finish last term, and will be eager to start on the right foot this weekend at the Friuli.

With Paulo Dybala fully fit and Locatelli addition a missing ingredient to their midfield department, the visitors are likely to prove too hot for Udinese to handle.

Though goalkeeping great Gianluigi Buffon may have left the scene, all the other established stars remain at Juventus for Allegri's return - including Euro 2020 winners Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini - while Dejan Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa return for a second season in Turin having lit up the summer's main event with some excellent displays.

All four could start in Udine, though Chiellini - who recently signed a contract extension - faces increased competition from Matthijs de Ligt for a place in central defence.

Allegri is likely to utilise the 4-3-3 formation which could feature Chiesa, Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala.

In midfield, Adrien Rabiot and Arthur are out injured, while Weston McKenzie must serve a suspension. Therefore, Aaron Ramsey could be in the starting line up alongside Rodrigo Bentancur.

The home side, on the other hand, are only without long-term absentee Ilija Nestorovski this weekend, as he continues his recovery from a cruciate ligament injury.

Udinese head coach Luca Gotti generally prefers a three-man defensive line, so should be expected to revert to his tried and tested system after tinkering with a 4-2-3-1 in the cup win last week.

On-loan Destiny Udogie is one of the few summer arrivals, and could start on the left against Juve, while another star of the Euros - Denmark's Jens Stryger Larsen - is set to line up on the right. Meanwhile, Stefano Okaka and Cristo Gonzalez are the favoured options to start up front.

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