Not too much out of the ordinary. Sticking with the recent strategies that brought success seems to be the clear way forward in the mind of BWRAO readers. The 4-3-1-2 that was so successful against Roma was selected as the clear favourite, with 72% of votes.
In goal, Gianluigi Buffon lead the way with 82% of the votes, while 17% wanted Neto to resume his cup duties between the goalposts.
In front of Gigi, Daniele Rugani, Alex Sandro, Giorigo Chiellini, and Stephan Lichtsteiner were all clear choices to be selected. Andrea Barzagli was the next closest with 32%. It will be interesting to see which of Rugani or Chiellini will be relegated to the bench in favour of Leonardo Bonucci when he returns, or if the 3 central defenders formation will pick up some more steam.
In midfield, Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira, and Miralem Pjanic were the obvious choices. Then came the more surprising selection, with Stefano Sturaro getting more than double the votes of fellow midfielder Mario Lemina with 55% and 25% of votes, respectively. Sturaro has clearly gained a lot of additional support by readers due to his standout performance against Roma.
Sturaro, to piss off sampath
I mean, sure, that works too, I guess.
Up front, the Argentines Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain were the clear choice, as they usually are in must-win games when they’re both healthy. There were some calls for a trident attack though, slotting Dybala behind both Higuain and Mandzukic. It’s hard to keep Mario Mandzukic out of the lineup these days, but they may have to if they don’t see Dybala in that role.
For the opinion vote, it was clear among readers that most would trade the 6th straight league title for a Champions League one instead. 90% of readers voted in favour of this. I’d agree with them.
For my team, I would go with the same one that was selected by readers. I would choose Stefano Sturaro over Mario Lemina because I think he fits the 4-3-1-2 system better with his skillset, provided his skills are up to the level that they were against Roma, or even somewhere close to that. Whether he maintains some of that fire remains to be seen, but we can hope.
BWRAO & Anthony’s Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Gianluigi Buffon; Alex Sandro, Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele Rugani, Stephan Lichtsteiner; Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Stefano Sturaro; Miralem Pjanic; Mario Mandzukic, Gonzalo Higuain.