Stadio Alberto Braglia
Sunday, 20th September, 2015
Juventus are slowly but surely climbing their way up the Serie A table, after a torrid start to the season which was expected due to the fact that a number of their big names had left in the summer. However, it would still not be right to call them outright title challengers, as they are quite a few points off the pace from the top of the table.
On the other hand, Carpi are hovering just one point above the bottom, and are severely threatened by relegation. They are finding life in the top flight of Italian football really tough, and have the menacing task of welcoming Juventus to the Stadio Alberto Braglia.
Team News & Tactical Brief
Manager Fabrizio Castori has been leading a revolution of sorts in Modena, ever since he was reinstated as the head coach of Carpi. The side who are playing their first Seire A season ever, will hope that they can use this momentum to haul themselves out of the relegation zone.
The Biancorossi would be high on confidence after their famous Copa Italia victory over Fiorentina, and would like to carry that momentum forward into the match against Juventus on Sunday. Since the Fiorentina match was in midweek, one could expect a degree of tiredness to creep into their players, but that would be nothing as compared to how mentally charged up they are likely to be after defeating one of the giants of Italian football.
Castori favours the simple 4-4-2, looking to flood the box with his strikers, and send in a deluge of crosses aimed at them. Frontman Marco Borriello would be the main target of these crosses, as he lines up alongside Ryder Matos. The latter can also slip into the No. 10 role when required, making their formation interchange between a 4-4-2 and a 4-4-1-1.
Borriello and Ryder though, have been their highest scorers in a team that has not seen many goals, and it is imperative that the duo be on their best form against the mighty Juve. The former AC Milan striker would certainly be looking to hurt his old foes on the counter, as his side go looking for points.
Lorenzo Lollo and Isaac Cofie would be trying to pull the strings from the middle of the park, but their main duty on Sunday afternoon would be to guard the back four.
Probable Starting XI (4-4-1-1): Belec; G. Silva, Gagliolo, Romagnoli, Zaccardo; Martinho, Cofie, Lollo, Letizia; Matos; Borriello.
Max Allegri has favoured the fluid 3-5-2 formation this season, as it can be very easily switched to the 5-3-2 while defending. However, against Carpi, Juventus are not expected to do much defending, which leaves little scope for them to fall back to the latter formation.
Since attack is the way to go, we can expect Patrice Evra and Juan Cuadrado to play as the two defensive wingers/attacking fullbacks. Allegri likes to build partnerships between certain sets of players, and play them together. This is especially true in the case of the fullback positions, with Cuadrado and Evra forming one combo, while Stephan Lichtsteiner and Alex Sandro form the other. The former fullback combination looks like a more attacking one, and is more likely to be used in the match against newly-promoted Carpi.
The same goes with Allegri’s options in attack. While Alvaro Morata and Simone Zaza form one combination, Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala form the other one. Morata and Zaza did well in that they scored three of their four goals in the Turin Derby in midweek, but they are expected to be rested in the Carpi match, Juventus looking for maximum firepower.
The duo of Mandzukic and Dybala have been lethal this season and are the perfect combination, with the Croat being the big and strong centre-forward while Dybala runs the channels.
Probable Starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Chiellini, Bonucci, Barzagli; Evra, Pogba, Khedira, Marchisio; Cuadrado; Dybala, Mandzukic.
- Juventus have won seven of their last eight matches.
- Carpi are also on a good run, winning three of their last five matches in all competitions.
- Carpi have the worst defensive record so far in this season’s La Liga, leaking 30 goals.
- Juventus on the other hand, have the second best defensive record in the league, conceding just 12 goals.
Player to watch out for
Paul Pogba (midfielder, Juventus)
The Frenchman has been ever so influential for Juventus in the last few seasons, and would be looking to boss the midfield yet again, against newly promoted Carpi. Also the fact that Carpi would be playing a two-man midfield, means that Pogba would have more time and space to dictate things.
Carpi FC 0-4 Juventus
Although the Biancorossi have been on resurgent form, a rout seems to be on the cards, as Juventus just seem too strong for Carpi. With Pogba and Marchisio dictating things from the middle, and Dybala and Mandzukic latching on to chances up front, Carpi have their work cut out.