Juventus won the Serie A title in incredible fashion as they went the whole season unbeaten under a new manager and a new style!
Under Antonio Conte the ‘Old Lady’ play 3-5-2 and it’s fair to say, the formation has worked.
When defending the three at the back system is more adapted because whatever formation your opponents are going to play, you’ll always have one more centre half then striker, which was very evident in the midweek as Fernando Torres, the lone striker for Chelsea was completely marked out of the game and was rarely given space.
The Italian trio of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini are all superb defenders and all played at least 32 games of their successful Serie A campaign and were key in the fact Juventus only conceded 20 league goals last year!
Arguably the two most important players in Juve’s set up are the wing-backs. Stephan Lichtsteiner has played the right wing-back position for Juventus for some time now, whilst on Wednesday it was their new signing from Udinese Kwawdo Asamoah, who despite his preference to play more centrally was superb against Chelsea in the left wing back role.
The full-backs in this set up have to offer the width both offensively and defensively so need to have a high level of fitness if they are to get up and down the field all game!
In the centre of the park Juve usually play Claudio Marchisio, Arturo Vidal and Andrea Pirlo; however not all in a line as one is predominately defensive and sits in front of the central defenders, whilst the other two offer more of an attacking threat. This again was evident on Wednesday, as the classy Pirlo sat and received the ball from the centre halves all game long as Vidal and Marchisio made frequent box to box runs, which led to one of them scoring and another having a great chance.
The one real weakness in this formation from a Juve perspective is their lack of a real out and out goal scorer as their top scorer last season was Alessandro Matri, with just 10 league goals, which for an unbeaten and title winning side is surprisingly low; and would explain why Conte can never find a regular centre forward and often changes his front line.
A side from that the formation works beautifully for Juve, and you can tell that they’ve performed with it for a long time now as every player knows his role! And despite Conte’s ban, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the ‘Old Lady’ go far in the Champions League this season.
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