"They are a very physical side with interesting technically gifted players, such as Krivets, Stilik and Peszko. The fact this team was eliminated from the Champions League by a slender result against Sparta Prague means something. It’s our most important test since July, as we are facing a side of quality and temperament."
Oh yea, and they've got a couple supporters too coach.
Potentially, the biggest concern ahead of our Europa League fixture against Lech Poznan could be the team’s conditioning. With two players already cup-tied, and several others questionably match fit, Del Neri might come to regret some of the substitutions he made during Sunday’s game against Sampdoria, as mentioned in the second podcast.
“I’m glad to note most of my players are already accustomed to a packed fixture list and are highly motivated for this competition.”
Let’s hope Luigi’s right. Nonetheless, here’s an overview of a few fitness issues we might face against Lech Poznan that could perhaps spill over into our game against Udinese on the 19th.
Seeing as Quagliarella’s already played with Napoli for their Europa League efforts this year and will be unavailable to Juventus for the rest of the competition, Luigi will have to rely on Del Piero as our only second striker. Although his talents are legendary, he’ll be coming off a 90 minute performance last weekend so his legs can’t be very fresh. He’ll be paired with Vincenzo Iaquinta upfront, who looked very quick during his debut on Sunday and could pull off a full 90 minute run. In fact he’ll have to with both Amauri and Martinez still unavailable.
Interestingly, Del Neri decided to keep both Marchisio and Melo on for the entire match against Sampdoria, whilst utilizing the apparently fully fit Aquilani for only 12 minutes (in the weird 4-3-3 of course). This could be a problem if Sissoko isn’t really 100% fit tomorrow since Alberto is cup-tied having already represented Liverpool in this competition earlier this year. Also, chances are we won’t see the young midfielder Manuel Giandonato get some playing time so our options look pretty limited in centre midfield against a Central European side that are notoriously hard-running like their neighbours to the East.
In defense, we will most definitely see Legrottaglie take the place of Chiellini from the start which will be Nicola’s first appearance in recent memory. Personally, I’m very excited to see him play as I’m sure he’ll be full of enthusiasm and positive energy being the model professional that he’s turned out to be. Bonucci should partner with him in the centre to start, however Rinaudo could take his place at some point with Marco Motta probably starting on the right. At left-back however, there is now a little bit of an issue with Paolo perhaps suffering from a bit of exhaustion:
“We must evaluate Paolo De Ceglie’s fitness, but there are options down the left, from Zdenek Grygera to Giorgio Chiellini.”
If by “options” you mean ultimatums then yes, we have options. Looks like Chiellini might not get the rest he needs after all. It’s kind of funny and a bit pathetic that we can’t rest our talismanic centre-back because we need him for another position. In any case, Del Neri will have to do the best with what he’s got and take the necessary risks. Bottom line, Juventus needs a strong performance and a favourable result against the Polish side at home. Check the comments for the match links and line-ups on gameday. Also, check out this video I found of the traveling Sturm Graz fans that came to Torino for the final leg at the end of August. They lost 1-0, but you couldn't really tell. Fucking Impressive.
IERI... OGGI... DOMANI... SEMPRE JUVE!!!