Al­le­gri con­sid­ers bench­ing out-of-form Paulo Dy­bala

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

Ju­ven­tus head coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri is con­tem­plat­ing start­ing Paulo Dy­bala from the sub­sti­tutes’ bench for this week­end’s trip to Palermo.

The Ital­ian cham­pi­ons thumped Cagliari 4-0 on Wed­nes­day to move back to the top of Serie A hav­ing suf­fered de­feat to In­ter in their pre­vi­ous out­ing.

Dy­bala started that match in at­tack along­side Gon­zalo Higuain but was un­able to score, mak­ing it six ap­pear­ances in all com­pe­ti­tions with­out a goal in 2016-17.

Al­le­gri is un­sur­prised to see the 22-year-old - who scored 19 league goals last sea­son - find it harder in his sec­ond cam­paign with Juve and is con­sid­er­ing start­ing him from the bench for the trip to play his for­mer club Palermo.

“Dy­bala could start from the bench to­mor­row but don’t take that as writ­ten,” Al­le­gri said at his pre-match me­dia con­fer­ence.

“Af­ter a year here grow­ing, now it is now more dif­fi­cult for him. He is hav­ing good games but has more at­ten­tion from op­po­nents - they know him now.

“He is play­ing well at the mo­ment. The only thing that is miss­ing is a goal.

“He must stay calm. He has played a lot of matches and could start on the bench.”

Juve’s match with Palermo is the first of three away games in eight days that also sees them play Di­namo Za­greb and Em­poli.

Gior­gio Chiellini – the only cen­tre-back to keep his place against Cagliari fol­low­ing the loss to In­ter – is another who is set to be left out, al­low­ing him to re­main fresh dur­ing the busy sched­ule.

Al­le­gri added: “Ro­tat­ing the squad is im­por­tant but you must al­ways base your XI on the in­di­vid­ual mer­its of each match.

“Chiellini will be rested while Her­nanes is in the frame for another start­ing place.

“There are no prob­lems with Gian­luigi Buf­fon [af­ter com­ing off at half-time against Cagliari]. He will be back for Palermo.

“Juan Cuadrado was granted per­mis­sion to go home for per­sonal rea­sons on Wed­nes­day but he is avail­able. He won’t start but will be very use­ful from the sub­sti­tutes’ bench as the game goes on.

“Play­ing three away matches in a row is not ideal, but we won’t take any­thing less than a win in Palermo.”

Fiorentina - Mi­lan

Vin­cenzo Mon­tella re­turns to Fiorentina look­ing to guide his Mi­lan to a third win in a row.

When Mi­lan and Fiorentina met last Au­gust to open the 2015-2016 sea­son, the con­fused Ros­soneri ended up en­tan­gled in the Vi­ola’s spi­der­web of passes, and could only watch in hor­ror as Mar­cos Alonso blasted a sen­sa­tional free­kick on the way to a 2-0 put­down.

The fu­ture was bright for long­suf­fer­ing fans of the Gigliati, who would go on to smash In­ter 4-1 on Match­day 6, pro­pel­ling them to first place in Serie A.

What a dif­fer­ence a year makes. Though they’ve only lost Alonso from that side, the mood in Florence is bad fol­low­ing an un­am­bi­tious trans­fer win­dow, Fed­erico Bernarde­schi talk­ing out of turn to Coach Sousa, and Borja Valero play­ing poorly. Mi­lan, for their part, will have to wait un­til the end of the year to com­plete their Chi­nese takeover (if it hap­pens), keep­ing their own dreams of glory in check.

And yet, there is a lot to be ex­cited about. One of the Vi­ola’s few un­her­alded sign­ings, Car­los Sanchez, has looked good, and will get to test his skills against the club’s for­mer Coach Vin­cenzo Mon­tella, who claims he left the Franchi be­cause they wouldn’t let him strengthen the squad.

A cou­ple of draws aside, Fiorentina have still looked in­ter­est­ing this year, nar­rowly beat­ing Roma in con­tro­ver­sial cir­cum­stances. Re­mem­ber, they purged their squad last sea­son, too, and still had an ex­plo­sive start. This doesn’t mean Vi­ola fans should be happy - their lack of op­tions will even­tu­ally slow them down but un­til their squad is fresh (ex­cept for Valero), us neu­trals can hope to be en­ter­tained - Josip Ili­cic has al­ready pro­vided two as­sists in four games, and Khouma Babacar snuck in a cheeky goal in last week’s 2-2 draw with Udi­nese.

The Ros­soneri, for their part, go into this one with a promis­ing Suso, a rein­vig­o­rated Car­los Bacca, and the as­sur­ances pro­vided by Gabriel Paletta, who has helped ris­ing star Alessio Ro­mag­noli keep the de­fence de­cent since their Week 2 ham­mer­ing at the hands of Napoli.

The night may still be dark and full of ter­rors for fans of th­ese two sides… but for neu­trals, Sun­day even­ing could well be a crack­ing watch.

To­day Palermo-Ju­ven­tus .................................. Napoli-Chievo ........................................ To­mor­row Torino-Roma .......................................... Genoa-Pescara ...................................... In­ter Mi­lan-Bologna .............................. Lazio-Em­poli .......................................... Sas­suolo-Udi­nese .................................. Fiorentina-AC Mi­lan .............................. Mon­day Cro­tone-Ata­lanta ................................... Cagliari-Sam­p­do­ria ................................

Serie B

To­day Bari-Ben­evento ...................................... Carpi-Vir­tus En­tella ............................... Cit­tadella-Bres­cia .................................. Latina-Ter­nana ....................................... Pisa-As­coli ............................................. Pro Ver­celli-Ce­sena ................................ Saler­ni­tana-Tra­pani ............................... Spezia-No­vara ........................................ Vi­cenza-Avel­lino .................................... To­mor­row Hel­lasVerona-Frosi­none ........................

Lega Pro A

To­mor­row Cre­monese-Pi­a­cenza ............................. Ol­bia-Livorno ......................................... Prato-Siena ............................................ Rac­ing Roma-Lupa Roma ....................... Viterbese-Re­nate ................................... Alessan­dria-Como ................................. Luc­ch­ese-Arezzo .................................... Pis­toiese-Car­rarese ................................ Pro Pi­a­cenza-Pont­ed­era ........................ Tut­tocuoio-Giana Er­minio .....................

Lega Pro B

To­mor­row An­cona-Mo­dena .................................... Bas­sano V.-Santar­can­gelo ...................... Gub­bio-Padova ...................................... Mac­er­atese-Por­de­none ......................... Venezia-Lumez­zane ............................... Forli-Sam­benedettese ........................... Man­tova-Fer­alpiSalo ............................. Parma-Al­bi­noL­effe ................................. Ter­amo-Fano .........................................

Lega Pro C

To­mor­row Sira­cusa-Lecce ....................................... V. Fran­cav­illa-Mat­era ............................. Catan­zaro-Messina ................................ Pa­ganese-Mo­nop­oli .............................. Reg­gina-Cosenza ................................... Vi­bonese-Caser­tana .............................. Cata­nia-Akra­gas ..................................... F. An­dria-Melfi ....................................... Fog­gia-Taranto ....................................... Fondi-Juve Stabia ..................................

Paulo Dya­bala

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