Ju­ven­tus reap­ing the ben­e­fits of new at­tack­ing for­ma­tion

VII

Weekly Trust - - Shot! -

Four for­wards seems to be the way for­ward for Ju­ven­tus. Coach Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri has un­veiled a dar­ing 4-2-3-1 for­ma­tion in the past two matches, and the team has played some of its best soc­cer of the sea­son. The new sys­tem puts Mi­ralem Pjanic in a deeper mid­field role along­side Sami Khedira, with Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dy­bala and Mario Mandzu­kic sit­ting just be­hind Gon­zalo Higuain. Not only has Ju­ven­tus been more cre­ative and dan­ger­ous go­ing for­ward, threat­en­ing with ev­ery wave of at­tack, but it has also re­mained solid at the back.

Ju­ven­tus kept a clean sheet in Sun­day’s 2-0 win over Lazio in the league, while it gave AC Mi­lan ‘’hardly a sniff,’’ ac­cord­ing to Al­le­gri, in Wed­nes­day’s 2-1 Ital­ian Cup vic­tory.

Against both teams, Ju­ven­tus took a two-goal lead. Dy­bala and Higuain scored against Lazio in the first 16 min­utes, and Dy­bala and Pjanic net­ted against Mi­lan in the open­ing 21.

‘’The for­ma­tion doesn’t count as much as the at­ti­tude with which you play,’’ Al­le­gri said af­ter the Mi­lan match. ‘’If those who play up front also help de­fen­sively then you con­trol the match bet­ter. How­ever, there were a lot of im­por­tant play­ers out, too.’’

Al­le­gri is with­out the in­jured Clau­dio Marchi­sio and Mario Lem­ina, while Medhi Be­na­tia is at the African Cup of Na­tions. Al­le­gri also opted to give his reg­u­lar de­fend­ers some rest in the past two matches.

That has some­what con­di­tioned the for­ma­tion, which Al­le­gri said he came up with last week fol­low­ing the 2-1 loss at Fiorentina.

De­spite the fact Ju­ven­tus is un­doubt­edly play­ing bet­ter with the new for­ma­tion, Al­le­gri may change things again at Sas­suolo on Sun­day.

‘’It’s not a given that we’ll al­ways play like this,’’ Al­le­gri said. ‘’No two matches are the same and you have to adapt to dif­fer­ent sit­u­a­tions so of course we might switch things around from time to time.

‘’If ev­ery­one is will­ing to put in a shift, the more qual­ity play­ers we have on the field the easier it is to man­age pos­ses­sion, which is im­por­tant.’’

Ju­ven­tus striker, Sami Khedira reacts dur­ing a match in the Serie A.

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