Out of all the starting lineup sheets Max Allegri has filled out to date this season, Tuesday night's is going to be the most important. The massive Champions League tie against Atlético Madrid has the most riding on it, the biggest impact in both a positive and negative sense, the whole fait of Juventus' European campaign coming down to 90 minutes.
Juventus need a draw at the very least to secure their place in the Champions League knockout stages. There are ways for Allegri's squad to leapfrog Atléti and finish atop the group, but the most important thing come a few hours from now at Juventus Stadium is that Juve are able to say they're one of the 16 teams that will be participating in next week's Round 16 draw.
So who is Allegri going to turn to? The full list of the 20 players called up for tonight's match are as follows:
A lof of the indications coming out of Italy on Tuesday morning is that Allegri will indeed go back to a four-man defense after using a 3-5-2 formation against Fiorentina last Friday night in Florence. I'm not going to break down the pros and cons of each tactical lineup because that's just beating a dead horse at this point.
But a 4-3-1-2 or 4-3-2-1 — or whatever variation Allegri is planning on rolling with — is what has to be done against an Atlético side that has already booked its place in the knockout stages. The 3-5-2 has become stale and leaves uninspiring, while just about all of Juventus' best games this season have come when Allegri has utilized a four-man backline. That's not just my opinion, it's a well-known commodity.
First, though, there are those lineup-related questions that are still left to be answered.
Who should start alongside Carlos Tévez? Who should play left back? Who should be the first person off the bench just in case there needs to be some much-needed changes? All of these are valid questions.
And it's your turn to answer them. So go ahead and have at it. You've got nothing to lose.
- UEFA Champions League Preview: Juventus vs. Atlético Madrid — Taking care of business
- Fiorentina 0-0 Juventus: Bianconeri secure a point after plain display
- Juventus 0 - Fiorentina 0: Initial reaction and random observations
- Game Time Thread: Juventus vs. Fiorentina
- Juventus vs. Fiorentina Preview: Round 14 — Back to the scene of the crime