The International Break came and went, and there are a few notable points Juventus-related. First, in scoring the opener against Serbia on Friday, Marchisio marked his 3rd goal in his last two games for club and country, to the chagrin of the Goal.com editorial staff and at least a third of the readers here. Although his two goals against Milan were fortuitous, he has been a complete animal in the midfield, whether you wish to believe it or not.
In defense, Chiellini and Barzagli started together on Friday, but the real surprise was the that Bonucci also found space in the starting XI in the center, pushing Giorgio out wide. While Chiellini has played a few games at left back last season and once thus far for Juventus, I believe this was his first time featuring in that role for Italy. Perhaps with nothing else to play for qualifying-wise, Prandelli wanted to try something new. I'm sure that Conte took note. The Italian experiment was short lived as Prandelli slotted Giorgio back to his preferred central role against Northern Ireland, although it's interesting that Barzagli again got the knod next to him. Say what you will about Marotta, and I've sure had my share of criticisms of him, but scooping him up so cheaply last winter was an absolute steal.
Meanwhile, Giovinco also kept his form up, and earned his first start for il Nazionale against Serbia Northern Ireland. I've been highly critical of him, mostly because of his bitchy attitude, and at times felt he didn't have the stature to become a top player. This of course set off a wildfire of speculation and quotes regarding his potential return to Juventus, who still own half of his rights. Something tells me there's a chance that about 365 days from now, he could be back in black and white. Let's just say if that happens, I will be hoping very much so that I was simply wrong about him.
And of course, with nothing else to play for marking the perfect time to experiment with new faces, Pirlo played a full 180 minutes. #whatcouldpossiblygowrong
You got away unscathed this time Cesare, but so help me God if he got hurt for no reason...
Ladies and gents, discuss.