Max Allegri having to go with a certain formation or tactical setup because of a sudden mini-crisis when it comes to injuries isn't some newfound phenomena. It's happened plenty of times before, and usually ended up with Juventus doing what they've done a lot of over the last four years.
Yeah, win again.
That's exactly how Juventus want to begin the 2015-16 Serie A season. And, based on the graphic below, it's what they've done against Udinese a decent amount of the time since the two bianconeri-clad teams started playing against one another.
Allegri doesn't have many starting lineup-related decisions to make this evening when Juventus open the season against Udinese. Álvaro Morata is hurt, so in steps Paulo Dybala. Mario Mandzukic might not play if Allegri deems him unhealthy enough to start, so Fernando Llorente would step in. The lack of central midfielders — most notably Claudio Marchisio, who is out for the next couple of weeks with a thigh injury — means a 3-5-2 formation makes sense in Allegri's mind.
This is the easy stuff that a manager has to do. I guess the real decisions will be when everybody is healthy and available for selection. That's when Allegri will earn his money even more than he is now as he tries to make this new-look Juventus side into a cohesive and well-oiled machine that will destroy anything in its path over the next ninth months.
That is the objective, right? I sure hope so.
The new-look Juventus team will look (kinda) different against Udinese compared to what we expect it to be following the international break as the group-stage games in the Champions League beckon a few short weeks later. To go along with all of the injuries, Juve's new signee, Alex Sandro, will start from the bench Sunday. Not bad, but hey, they didn't just spend €26 million on him to sit around.
No matter what, though, the Serie A opener is here. Let us cherish this moment and celebrate it with three points in about 10 hours or so. That sounds like a grand idea.
Juventus XI (3-5-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci, Martin Caceres; Stephan Lichtsteiner, Stefano Sturaro, Simone Padoin, Paul Pogba, Patrice Evra; Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic
Udinese XI (3-5-2): Orestis Karnezis; Thomas Heurtaux; Danilo; Iván Piris; Edenílson, Emmanuel Agyemang-Badu, Manuel Iturra, Bruno Fernandes, Ali Adnan; Cyril Théréau, Antonio Di Natale