When rumors started flying that Max Allegri was going to switch from a 4-3-1-2 formation to a three-man defense, it probably took a lot of the mystery out of who the first-year Juventus manager was going to select on Wednesday night.
...or are we really sure it did?
Oh, sneaky Max Allegri and his pre-match press conference statements about tactics and formations. He can be a sneaky as he wants to, but the cat is as out of the bag as it can get. After a couple days of rumors,
Yes, all signs point toward an Andrea Barzagli-Leonardo Bonucci-Giorgio Chiellini backline in a 3-5-2 formation. The center of the midfield midfield is all but set with Andrea Pirlo out injured — Arturo Vidal, Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba. Same goes for the wingbacks with Stephan Lichtsteiner and Patrice Evra starting on the right and left wings, respectively. And it's not like the starting strikers are really a mystery, either. Go get 'em, Álvaro and Carlitos!
Did I mention who's in goal? Yeah, that's an easy one.
If there was ever an easy-as-it-gets starting lineup to envision, this would probably be it.
But is going 3-5-2 the right move by Allegri with the club's European campaign on the line? Is it the best way to try and keep the talented and ultra-quick Borussia Dortmund attack under wraps? Why is Simone Padoin being benched on his birthday?
All valid question — although some are obviously more important than others.
Juventus' chances of advancing will likely hinge on how the 3-5-2 formation deals with Dortmund's anticipated aggressive tactics as they look to flip the aggregate scoreline. If the switch to the three-man defense proves worthy, then we could very well have another Champions League draw to pay attention to in a couple of days.
So, wanna play the game? Come on! You know you want to! Make your best funny face in reaction to a referee's decision and become Max Allegri for a couple of minutes. Put on your best suit if you want, too. All of it is part of the act while you decide what Juventus' starting lineup should be tonight in the decisive second leg against Jürgen Klopp and Borussia Dortmund.
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