A report by La Stampa on Monday highlighted that in eight matches this season, Juventus boss Massimiliano Allegri had used eight different starting line-ups.
The tinkering has been used as an explanation as to why the Bianconeri are struggling, with only one win in six Serie A matches. The continual changes were partly down to transfers during the period when the season starts and the window remains open. But a big cause has been injuries. Allegri has been hindered by absentees throughout the season, including key players such as Claudio Marchisio, Giorgio Chiellini and Alvaro Morata.
Victory at Manchester City on Matchday 1 looked to spark a turnaround and was followed by three points away to Genoa. But in drawing with Frosinone and losing at Napoli, the pressure is back on the faltering Turin giants.
The medical staff has another player in their care, with Stefano Sturaro a late absentee from the squad to face Sevilla. He joins Marchisio, Mario Mandzukic, Kwadwo Asamoah and Stephan Lichtsteiner on the sidelines.
The Swiss defender’s absence has been caused by breathing problems that saw him substituted against Frosinone. The issue was then exacerbated by Martin Caceres. The Uruguayan was involved in a car accident early on Tuesday morning when over the blood alcohol limit. It was the second time in a year he has crashed his car and the club took a dim view. Caceres has been fined and suspended indefinitely. It led Allegri to tell reporters the only confusion surrounding his tactical set-up is “due to the fact I need a right-back and I don’t have one.”
But there’s a welcome return for the Old Lady tonight. Sami Khedira went down with a thigh problem in pre-season, so is yet to make his competitive debut. And Allegri is counting on his German signing. “He’s a player of international level. I don’t know how long he can play, but he will certainly feature.”
He’s set to anchor a five-man midfield against the Spaniards, who also enjoyed a Matchday 1 triumph versus Borussia Monchengladbach. A win over Sevilla will put Juventus in command of Group D.
Khedira’s return is what Allegri hopes is the first of many, as Juve aim to clear the infirmary. Doing that will allow the Coach to move forward with his best team. Maybe then we will see a Bianconeri side akin to the one which dazzled last season.