I asked, you answered.
To begin, it was pretty clear that many of us here are not a fan of the international break. Seventy-seven percent voted that they’ll miss Juve too much. At least we get to see some of our guys in a good game against Spain.
As expected, a majority of BWRAO readers would like to see a 4-man backline tried out for the first time this year, with ~75% voting for a 4 at the back formation. 4-3-3/4-3-2-1 lead the way with around half the votes.
No surprise between the goalposts, Buffon leads the way there. Neto did however get his largest amount of support thus far, because as one reader puts it:
Neto needs a game once in a while.
At defense, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, and Alex Sandro were a staple in almost any team picked, while Andrea Barzagli featured in 3-5-2 responses and a handful of 4 at the back selections. Stephan Lichtsteiner was also voted back in, after not featuring in the previous two games.
In the midfield, Miralem Pjanic was the most picked, followed by Mario Lemina. Sami Khedira got the next amount of votes with 75%, but one reader believes:
Khedira looked outta gas vs Zagreb. The German needs a rest badly.
Hernanes continues to get some love, which is nice to see because many of us thought this wasn’t even a possibility last year. He got 40% of the votes, slightly edging him out of our starting lineup in favour of Marko Pjaca.
Up front, the clear starters were Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, with Marko Pjaca rounding out the front three. I think a lot of us are excited to see what Marko Pjaca can bring us in an extended period of playing time, seen in comments like:
Pjaca should be playing more
Start the pjaca
With Empoli’s poor start of 4 points in 6 games, this game would be a perfect chance for the young Croatian.
It's just a good time to get another piece of experiments continuing after a very dominant game. The confidence of the team now just got so high, and also to take this kind of '4-3-we'll set on our own' is not a reckless decision at all. Pjaca's time before he gets slowed down by the warm bench
This pretty much sums up the majority opinion.
Personally, I’d like to see how a 4-3-3 with Cuadrado and Marko Pjaca would look in a game where we should be able to rotate and still pick up three points. If it’s not working at half-time, switch it up and get Dybala in there.
My Starting XI (4-3-3): Gianluigi Buffon; Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Stephan Lichtsteiner; Miralem Pjanic, Mario Lemina, Sami Khedira; Marko Pjaca, Gonzalo Higuain, Juan Cuadrado.
Your BWRAO Starting Lineup(4-3-3/4-3-2-1): Gianluigi Buffon; Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Andrea Barzagli, Stephan Lichtsteiner; Miralem Pjanic, Mario Lemina, Sami Khedira; Marko Pjaca, Paulo Dybala; Gonzalo Higuain.