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How will Juventus line up this season 

Juventus lifted their ninth consecutive Serie A title last season.
Juventus lifted their ninth consecutive Serie A title last season.
Michel Sakr
CONTRIBUTOR
Modified 02 Oct 2020, 21:55 IST
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Winning nine straight league titles is an extraordinary achievement, but Juventus will hope to reach the magical number of ten as they look to continue their domestic dominance under new manager Andrea Pirlo

Unfortunately for former Juventus boss Maurizio Sarri, he had arrived at a club that had become too accustomed to winning Serie A titles. Thus, winning a ninth straight Scudetto was by no means considered a great accomplishment for the former Napoli and Chelsea manager.

After doing so, albeit with a relatively low points tally of just 83 to go with some uninspiring performances, Juventus president Andrea Agnelli decided to wield the axe the very next day after the Bianconeri's disappointing Champions League elimination against Lyon. 

The surprise appointment of Italy legend Andrea Pirlo, despite his obvious tactical shrewdness, as head coach is definitely a risky move taken by the club.

An inexperienced manager at the helm of a side gunning for both local and continental glory could prove to be either a brilliant move or a disastrous one that could end up destroying a winning dynasty that has lasted for almost a decade. 

After the stunning arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo in 2018 and Matthijs De Ligt last summer, this transfer session has been a relatively quiet one for the Old Lady. This summer, Juventus have focused on lowering the average age of their squad, with the likes of Dejan Kulusevski, Arthur, Weston McKennie and the returning Alvaro Morata replacing Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi and Gonzalo Higuain. 

These additions - alongside any possible late arrivals - will no doubt increase the competition for starting spots all over the pitch. 

Andrea Pirlo enjoyed an almost perfect managerial debut against Sampdoria before some of his hype died down after an underwhelming performance against Roma at the Olimpico.

Although it's still too early to say who will be the main cast for Juventus during the season, here is how the Bianconeri could ideally line up in the 2020-21 season in Andrea Pirlo's versatile 3-5-2 formation. 

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Juventus' best formation under Andrea Pirlo

Goalkeeper: Wojciech Szczesny 

Wojciech Szczesny has cemented himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in the Serie A.
Wojciech Szczesny has cemented himself as one of the best shot-stoppers in the Serie A.

As much as every football fan enjoys seeing the legendary Gianluigi Buffon playing between the sticks, it must be accepted that the 42 year-old will only be making sporadic appearances for Juventus throughout the season.

That is because Wojciech Szczesny has taken over Juventus' number one jersey - both literally and figuratively - and rightfully so.

The big Pole is at the height of his powers and has cemented himself as one of the top goalkeepers in Italy in his five Serie A seasons with Roma and Juventus, in the process claiming 56 clean sheets in 148 matches in the competition. 

Defence 

Centre-back: Merih Demiral 

Merih Demiral should be back in Juventus
Merih Demiral should be back in Juventus' starting lineup once he fully recovers.

Merih Demiral should land himself a starting spot on the right of the defensive trio at Juventus as soon as he returns to full fitness after missing most of last season with an ACL injury.

Danilo, who is currently occupying this spot, hasn't performed poorly, but the Brazilian is far from a natural centre-back and could soon relinquish this position to Demiral. 

In an age when defenders are focusing more and more on their on-the-ball techniques, it's refreshing to see a young defender who purely enjoys the defensive side of the game.

 

Centre-back: Matthijs De Ligt

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Matthijs De Ligt could soon be a prominent player in the Juventus defence.
Matthijs De Ligt could soon be a prominent player in the Juventus defence.

Although Leonardo Bonucci remains a key part of Juventus both on and off the pitch, it's time for a change in the sweeper role. 

Alongside Demiral, the former Ajax captain Matthijs De Ligt should be delighted with Pirlo's defensive approach as the new boss intends to bring back the one-on-one marking instead of Sarri's zonal marking, something that should bring out the best in the young duo.

While Bonucci's marking abilities have often been exposed in one-on-one situations, De Ligt should be able to better enforce his authority on games and put his Dutch roots into play while helping in distributing the ball from the back. 

Centre-back: Giorgio Chiellini 

The legendary Giorgio Chiellini could be captaining Juventus for one last season before he retires.
The legendary Giorgio Chiellini could be captaining Juventus for one last season before he retires.

With two youngsters already lined up in the heart of the Juventus defence, the last piece is none other than that of the legendary Giorgio Chiellini. When fit, the Juventus captain is still one of the very best defenders in the world.

This could well be his final season before he hangs up his boots. So football fans could possibly appreciate his defensive excellence for one last time this season. 

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Published 02 Oct 2020, 21:55 IST
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