Juventus includes the ‘new Balotelli’ Kean in squad to face Udinese
Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed the teenager will be in this weekend’s squad, while experienced midfielder Claudio Marchisio could get playing time following his return.
Massimiliano Allegri will include promising youngster Moise Kean in his matchday squad to face Udinese.
Introducing the ‘new Balotelli’
The striker, who has been labeled the ‘new Mario Balotelli’, has been picked by Allegri to get an idea of what first-team football is like.
“Kean will join the squad,” the Juventus coach added.
“He’s a talent but at 16 years old, he needs more matchday experience. We are including him to help him grow.”
Allegri has revealed Claudio Marchisio could make his comeback from injury in today’s match, but made it clear he will not take any risks with the midfielder.
Marchisio has yet to feature in an official match this campaign due to a knee injury, but played his first minutes of the season in a friendly against Pro Settimo Eureka in midweek.
Although the 30-year-old may return versus Udinese, Allegri remains cautious.
“Marchisio played 45 minutes in a friendly during the week and is coming along very nicely indeed,” Allegri stated at a news conference. “He is an important player, but we have to be cautious after such an injury.
“[Daniele] Rugani, [Kwadwo] Asaoah and [Marko] Pjaca are the only guaranteed absentees.
“[Medhi] Benatia is fit and may start from the off on Saturday.”
A busy period awaits Juventus and Allegri is determined to start on a high against Udinese.
“The match against Udinese is the first of seven big matches in the next 22 days,” he added.
“We will need to be ready. We must approach Udinese with caution, they have some good players and an excellent new coach. It will not be an easy game.”
Napoli - Roma
Napoli welcome Roma in a title chasing six-pointer at the Stadio San Paolo this afternoon.
The Partenopei will be rueing entering the international break with a shock defeat away to Atalanta, knowing full well that this weekend’s clash is a game neither side can lose.
Currently four points adrift of leaders Juventus, Maurizio Sarri has to prepare for Roma without striker Arkadiusz Milik, who hit the ground running since filling the gaping hole left by Gonzalo Higuain and is now out for four to six months with a ruptured ACL.
The injury sustained by the 22year-old Polish forward means Manolo Gabbiadini, the man who was rumoured to be heading out of the club in the summer, will have to step forward into the sole strikers’ role.
Napoli’s main threat arises from Marek Hamsik and Jose Callejon, while Lorenzo Insigne and Dries Mertens fight for a single spot. Another option would be to use the Spaniard as a False 9, dropping Gabbiadini to field both wingers simultaneously.
Raul Albiol still remains a doubt alongside Omar El Kaddouri, but Sarri should have a strong lineup in place, bar the obvious omission of Milik.
Luciano Spalletti, on the other hand, is looking for some form of consistency as Roma have failed to win back-to-back games thus far.
Today will be their fourth attempt at such a feat, following on from a well-earned but hardfought victory over a resurgent Inter.
Mohammed Salah will act as the focal point of the Giallorossi’s intent, although claims about the Egyptian’s finishing ability compared to his mesmerising dribbling could prove problematic up against one of the league’s best defences.
Spalletti aims to fixate upon the compact midfield to stop the wing-play of Callejon and Mertens, and the added bonus of having a now fully fit Kevin Strootman with Daniele De Rossi is virtually like a new signing.
There are no fresh injury concerns, with the main loss still defender Antonio Rudiger, who should return in November.
Although both sides will be vying for three points, the weekend clash must be seen as an attempt to avoid defeat more than anything.
Napoli will have extra help from the atmosphere at the San Paolo, as ticket sales are barred for those living in the Rome area. This is due to the often violent clashes that occurred between the two sets of fans in the past, most notably the death of Partenopei supporter Ciro Esposito ahead of the Coppa Italia Final in May 2014.
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