Juventus entered the 2022-23 season opener this past Monday night with injuries in the midfield. They came out of it with a new injury to one of the team’s most important attacking players.
Now, as Juve get ready to play another Monday night fixture, it’s the defense that has seen a starter be at serious risk due to injury.
According to Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti, Sky Sport Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio and Giovanni Albanese of La Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus captain Leonardo Bonucci is at serious risk of missing the Bianconeri’s first away fixture of the season against Sampdoria due to muscle fatigue coming out of the win against Sassuolo. There was no such update on Bonucci’s condition in the daily recap of Juventus’ training session posted online Friday, but Albanese reports that the 35-year-old defender was removed from training as a precaution after reporting the injury.
Both Agresti and Albanese suggest that Juve manager Max Allegri now has a decision to make on who is to replace Bonucci in the starting lineup between Daniele Rugani or Federico Gatti.
And so it goes. This is just the world that we live in now where injuries are going to happen all the time — especially to some of the older players and those who have plenty of miles on those tires of theirs. Bonucci, at this point in his career, definitely fits into both categories.
While Bonucci is definitely the kind of dude who would try to tough it out and play through something that may be a minor muscle injury in terms of how much time he could miss, this is not the time to suddenly risk things and try to play through a bunch of pain. Because of the schedule being what it is this season, we’re not so long from the fixtures coming at us every couple of days. (Shoot, Juve’s first midweek fixture is in less than two weeks!)
Now, the question of who replaces Bonucci in the starting lineup to play alongside Bremer basically comes down to somebody Allegri knows well or an absolute wild card who would be making his full Serie A debut. As much as a lot of us probably want to see Gatti for obvious reasons, you gotta believe that Rugani has the edge here simply because he’s the veteran of the two. (That’s just me thinking out loud here, folks. I’m totally in the tank for Gatti and want him to play every game possible when Bonucci can’t go. Or maybe more than just that.)
We’ll hopefully have a little more clarity on the matter when Allegri speaks to the press on Sunday ahead of the trip to face Sampdoria. And unlike when Juve plays at home these days, we’ll likely get the squad list the day before the game, too, so that will let us know what’s up.
Who should start alongside Bremer if Leonardo Bonucci is out injured?
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