I asked, and you answered. The 4-3-1-2 remains the preference of most readers, especially with a shiny new midfield toy that has recently become available.
The chosen starting keeper was obviously Buffon, but he will miss the game due to illness, which leaves the keeper duties to fall to Neto by default. Emil Audero did collect 5 votes though, it would seem like some readers either see something in Audero, or aren’t a big fan of Neto.
In the middle of defense, Daniele Rugani and Giorgio Chiellini both received 92 percent of votes each, while Alex Sandro and Stephan Lichsteiner received 68 and 72 percent of votes, respectively, to round out the rest of the backline. As I’m writing this though, I’m seeing that neither Sandro nor Patrice Evra are in the squad. That means that by default, we will follow this reader’s suggestion:
If Evra and Sandro are not available, King Kong should play LB as he has for Italy in the past
Asamoah only received 10 votes, so we’ll say this was the preferred lineup, overall. However, he did get some love in the interesting inclusions section:
Considering Sandro injured, and Evra exit rumors. Asa as lwb.
In the midfield, the usual three of Claudio Marchisio, Sami Khedira and Miralem Pjanic were selected, and unsurprisingly, Tomas Rincon was selected to see what he can do against Bologna. Here’s hoping he solves the lack of physicality issue in the midfield. There was a rather unpopular take regarding Khedira that I thought I’d share though:
Cuadrado over Khedira. Khedira level has dropped significantly since September. Excluding the game against Pescara his performances have left a lot to be desired. He's not offering significant defensive contribution either.
Up front, the duo of Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain won by quite a large margin. The Moise Kean admirers have not gone away, though:
Kean off the bench for some burn
There were also many shouts to bring in Pjaca for at least some minutes, if not the start.
BWRAO’s Starting XI (4-3-1-2): Neto; Giorgio Chiellini, Daniele Rugani, Andrea Barzagli, Stephan Lichtsteiner; Sami Khedira, Claudio Marchisio, Tomas Rincon; Miralem Pjanic; Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain.
Regarding the poll question, 58 percent of readers said it was an unwise decision for Axel Witsel to move to China.
Anthony’s Editorial Piece Based on the Survey Question:
Judging by my level of snark used in the question, I think it’s clear which side I take on this topic. I obviously agree that playing for Juve or another team at the top level is worth playing for a smaller salary. That being said, as Ted Dibiase said, “Everybody’s got a price.” I think that at some point, it becomes ridiculous to turn down that much money, no matter who you are.
Yes, you can argue that he has millions after playing on a big contract in Russia for so long, and that he could comfortably support himself and his family for the rest of their lives, but think about how much extra money he’ll be making over the next four years. At a very conservative minimum, it would be over €60 million. He’s still playing football, his dream job, it’s not like he’s being asked to give that up. But he’s now going to have an extra €60 million for him and his family, probably extended family, kids, grandkids to all live a pretty comfortable lifestyle for the rest of their lives, all because he went to China for four years of his life, to play soccer.
I really can’t blame him whatsoever for that. I wish him nothing but success, because I truly believe that he did and does truly respect Juventus as a club and really did dream of playing here, it would just be ridiculous in both of our opinions to turn down that type of money.