It’s nothing new that Manuel Locatelli is a doubt for this weekend’s showdown at the Allianz Stadium. We’ve essentially known that his status was completely up in the air all of a couple of days into the November international break. What was totally unsure was just how much time Locatelli was going to miss with the broken rib he sustained at some point during Juventus’ win over Cagliari right before the international break. We don’t know how serious the injury is, as Juve have yet to actually comment on Locatelli’s injury status or anything related to it.
As of Thursday, Locatelli — along with Danilo — was training away from the group. It’s been like that all week, according to reports out of Italy from the likes of Goal Italia’s Romeo Agresti and others.
On Friday, Locatelli worked partially with the group, according to Agresti.
So, as of now, the likelihood of Locatelli not playing against Inter is much greater than us seeing him walk out of the tunnel and take the field in Sunday night’s showdown for first place. As much as there have been rumors that he is willing to try and wear a protective vest if he is able to play, the fact that Locatelli is still training away from the group isn’t necessarily the best of signs.
That means Max Allegri will have to make a choice when it comes to his starting lineup — does he go with one of the available players in his very limited midfield options that is certainly a different player compared to Locatelli, or does Juve’s manager go with somebody like Hans Nicolussi Caviglia who is probably more suited to the position but has barely played this season.
In such a big fixture with first place in Serie A on the line, there’s likely only so much risk that Allegri is willing to take. But, at the same time, with so few options available in midfield, a makeshift setup is going to have to happen unless Locatelli suddenly gets the green light to play Sunday night.
If Manuel Locatelli can’t pass any late fitness tests and misses Sunday’s Derby d’Italia, who should take his spot in Juventus’ midfield?
This poll is closed
Hans Nicolussi Caviglia
Wild card (i.e. change of formation)