Following the news that Sami Khedira retuned to training on Sunday, the natural question floating around in your head would have probably been "So when is he going to come back to the field?" or something along those lines. Just 48 hours later, we got the answer to the question we probably continued to ask ourselves.
Juventus manager Max Allegri announced at his pre-match press conference that Khedira isn't just included in the match day squad, but will start on Wednesday against Sevilla in the Champions League. Who knows how much of it has to do with Juve looking for any kind of spark, but that's what went down as Allegri and Gigi Buffon answered questions from the press on Tuesday evening. Here are the exact words that Allegri had to say at his pre-match press conference:
"Khedira will start the game. He's got international experience and even if he may not be able to last the entire 90, he's ready and raring to go. He'll be joined by Buffon, Bonucci, Barzagli, Chiellini, Cuadrado, Pogba, Evra, Morata and Dybala. The last player I'll keep to myself for the time being."
This is big for more than one reason.
The first one is obvious, and that's the fact that Allegri has not only included Khedira in the match day squad, but come out and right away that he's starting. Like Max said, Khedira might not be able to play 90 minutes right now, but there's a pretty good indication that he has enough match fitness to play from the start.
The second one is Allegri essentially through out 10 out of 11 players in his starting lineups. You got the 3-5-2 formation basically laid out, with Barzagli, Bonucci and Chiellini all included. We get the Dybala-Morata partnership, so that's cool. The one battle that's left is for the final starting spot in the center of the midfield. Will Allegri stick with the hot hand and play Mario Lemina? Or is it a starting spot for Hernanes or Roberto Pereyra?
As much as Max thought he made it easy on us this time, there's still one starting spot to worry about. He's always a man of mystery when it comes to his starting lineup, so even tough he's guaranteed the vast majority of who's playing Wednesday, he's still got one more piece of uncertainty hanging around. So as much as Allegri is going to let us off the hook when it comes to predicting the starting XI, we still get to argue about one thing. Good for us, right?