The four-man backline wins again, with a 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 narrowly edging out 3-5-2 as our preferred formation for the game.
With an aging and injury prone back line (Cb's), we can't risk playing 3 at a time in a 3-5-2. 4-3-and we'll see needs to be brought in ASAP.
That being said, a special shout-out to 3-5-2 must be given:
To be honest, I was so brightened by the article explaining about our hybrid 3-5-2 a few days ago. I was so excited to realize we can have some formations with three and four backs in a same game. Max can assign some "new" players like our Principo and Sturaro later on when the usual starting eleven finish making things safe in the first half.
Great article CH Ho.
With Udinese sitting on seven points after seven games, with a goal differential of minus-6, now would be the perfect time to try it out. If it doesn’t look good, a 3-5-2 could always be used on Tuesday against Lyon.
In between the goalposts, Gianluigi Buffon dominated the votes with 88 percent. This surprised me a little, as I thought more people would like to see Neto get a game, especially after a less than ideal showing by Gigi for Italy.
Why did we sign Neto if we refuse to let him play?
I agree, if not now then when? He’s better than a backup that only comes in for injuries. Neto gets my vote for the game through a combination of Udinese boasting the league’s fourth-worst goals total with six, and to ensure Gigi is at his best on Tuesday in the Champions League game.
In defense, Andrea Barzagli and Leonardo Bonucci were the two central defenders picked most often. Giorgio Chiellini also got a solid amount of votes, so he’ll be the ceremonial ‘Anthony’s 12th player’ of the week and will actually get a spot in the lineup as Leonardo Bonucci was not on the squad list for this fixture. On the flanks, the Brazilians Alex Sandro and Dani Alves were the most selected fullbacks. I thought I’d see Stephan Lichtsteiner edge out Dani considering he’s not on the Champions League squad and Alves played every minute of both Brazil games, but Dani has been playing some good football as of late.
In midfield, Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic were staples in nearly every team. It was pretty much a toss-up between Mario Lemina and Hernanes, but Lemina edged his way in there by 1.1% of the votes, so he gets the starting nod. Our golden boy, Claudio Marchisio, got 30% of the starting votes, however there was a recurring theme in the additional comments:
Hernanes imo has justified a starting spot till the 60th when Marchisio should make his season debut.
Sub on Marchisio with 5-10 minutes to go
Marchisio to sub Hernanes on the 80 minutes if we have had 2 goals cushion
No surprises there, we want to see some (but only a little bit) of Claudio!
Up front, Paulo Dybala was the clear leader in votes. Mario Mandzukic, however, saw his stock rise considerably after two impressive performances for Croatia, but it still wasn’t enough to crack BWRAO’s starting lineup.
Mandzukic had a wonderful international break, and resting the two other strikers could provide an opportunity to roll out a 4-3-3 and give Cuardrado and Pjaca some playing time.
I agree with this, and he does get my vote. Gonzalo Higuain and Juan Cuadrado round out the rest of the squad.
Ventura was given a ~2.5 (3 being the middle) rating by BWRAO. That seems pretty accurate, I voted a 2. Italy’s performance in the first half against was the absolute worst I think I’ve ever seen them play. How they ended the half, and the game in a draw was a small miracle. A game against Macedonia for a top team should be much easier than it was as well. I’m not going to write off Ventura just yet, but so far it was a pretty terrible showing, and things need to improve. That being said, he at least got good results. Results aren’t everything, but the results were good. But anyways, back to Juve.
I picked a very rest-heavy lineup. I really want to win on Tuesday against Lyon, and I think our backups can more than get it done. If not, make some early subs and get some top guns out there. If Pjaca were good to go, I wanted to see him in there for sure, but he’s not in the squad, unfortunately. I also think this would be a perfect time to start Mandzu, and I think he’d especially thrive in this 4-3-3 setup. It would be nice to give Gonzalo some rest after playing both international games as well.
Anthony’s Starting ‘11’ (4-3-3/4-3-2-1): Neto; Alex Sandro, Leonardo Bonucci, Andrea Barzagli, Stephan Lichtsteiner; Miralem Pjanic, Hernanes, Mario Lemina; Juan Cuadrado, Mario Mandzukic, Paulo Dybala.
BWRAO’s Starting XI (4-3-3/4-3-2-1): Gianluigi Buffon; Alex Sandro, Leonardo Bonucci (Giorgio Chiellini replaces him), Andrea Barzagli, Dani Alves; Miralem Pjanic, Mario Lemina, Sami Khedira; Juan Caudrado, Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala.
Oh and here’s another reminder to set your fantasy lineups.