We are exactly two weeks away from Andrea Pirlo’s official debut as Juventus’ manager. It was Saturday where Pirlo’s Juve played against somebody other than themselves for the first time. Well, technically. Even though the opposition was Juventus’ Under-23 team, one that for about a week or so Pirlo was going to be the coach of before Maurizio Sarri was sacked, the opposition was different than just the usual suspects .
But even before that first scrimmage — is it really considered anything more than that when you’re basically playing against somebody you’re probably training with on a regular basis? — Tuttosport has speculated as to what Pirlo’s lineup is going to look like when Juve face Sampdoria on Sunday, Sept. 20, at Allianz Stadium.
Don’t worry, it’s nothing in classic Tuttosport fashion where it’s wild and crazy and you’re left shaking your head because Tuttosport has gone off and done it again. But it is the first time that we’ve seen something — well, outside of our comment section on this blog — where there’s a potential formation being thrown out there that Pirlo might use two weekends from now.
“Might” being the keyword because until it’s an hour before kickoff and the lineups are tweeted out on Juve’s accounts, we don’t know what kind of idea(s) Pirlo truly has.
But here’s what Tuttosport is predicting:
That’s ,,, not that bad, honestly.
There are no surprises. Those are the wingbacks you’d expect. Those are the three midfielders you would expect. And, with Matthijs de Ligt out until November, those are the three defenders (and goalkeeper for that matter) that you’d expect if Pirlo does end up turning to a 3-5-2 formation when Sampdoria rolls into Turin in two weeks.
Some quick, knee-jerk thoughts off a predicted lineup that may or may not be right:
- If the 3-5-2 is going to be a thing, Pirlo better hope Giorgio Chiellini can stay healthy at least somewhat consistently or else we’re going to be seeing a whole lot of Daniele Rugani before de Ligt is healthy again.
- Arthur at regista, not Rodrigo Bentancur. Interesting.
- Seeing as Juan Cuadrado’s experiment as a right back wasn’t a complete wash last season, seeing him play as a wingback could very well be a nice mix of what he’s already good at and the potential he showed as a fullback.
- Tuttosport listed a few players who could step in for one of the players listed in the predicted lineup. One of them, as you might guess, is Dejan Kulusevski. The position in which they listed him would be if Adrien Rabiot didn’t start coming off international duty with France this week. Who knows if Kulusevski’s inclusion would be in a more advanced role to Arthur’s left, but lord knows we all want to see the young kid go out there and ball.
- Dybala playing as a striker sounds like a nice idea and I support it 100 percent.
Who knows if this is going to end up being right. Who knows just how “probable” Tuttosport’s first predicted formation of the 2020-21 season may be. Who knows if the 3-5-2 is the direction Pirlo will go against Sampdoria or any of the other early-season opponents that we will see Juve play
But it’s something — and every little bit helps when we start to try and envision what Pirlo’s Juventus might look like a couple of weeks from today.