I haven't been able to type the next sentence very much at all this season. With just about everybody on his roster healthy, Antonio Conte has options. And not just options, but for one of the first times all season, he has the chance to run out his best starting lineup.
That's a pretty good thing to have entering a game against your closest competition, right?
Conte: I need to evaluate the conditions of Pirlo, Tevez and Barzagli. I trust in whoever plays, I've got a great group of lads. #JuveRoma
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) January 4, 2014
Well, crap. So much for assuming everybody was just perfectly okay.
There's the distinct possibility that Conte is just trying to put the thought into Rudi Garcia's mind that maybe the trio mentioned above are questionable for Sunday's showdown at Juventus Stadium. Mind games aren't surprising, especially before such a big game like this one is. And I wouldn't be surprised one bit that it's exactly what Conte is doing.
To go with that, nothing throughout the past couple of days have told us that Pirlo, Tevez and Barzagli aren't going to play...right? I know all three of them have their specific reasons as to why Conte said what he did during his pre-match press conference.
The rumors of Barzagli's uncertain status — he left the friendly on Thursday afternoon due to injury — seem to be put to rest. Tevez has been training at full speed since he returned to Argentina. And Pirlo has not only returned to full training, but played 45 minutes against Cuneo Thursday, seemingly putting to rest the worry that came along with his race to get completely healthy for Roma.
So maybe everything is just perfectly okay. Crazy Conte keeping everybody guessing.
You know the deal. Play the game. The Juventus-Roma game thread will be posted 90 minutes before kickoff.
- Juventus vs. Roma Preview: Round 18 — Super Sunday at Juventus Stadium
- Carlos Tevez and Andrea Pirlo both look set to face Roma on Sunday night
- 2014 January Transfer Window: Juventus rumors and news
- Juventus vs. Roma: Full match coverage
- Reports: Genoa making progress in pursuit of signing Paolo De Ceglie