juventus v benevento

Our final league fixture before the international break finds Benevento visiting Turin. Managed by our former goal poacher specialist Pippo Inzaghi the visitors are very much still in the mix to secure their top flight status, and still have much to play for.

For those too young to have seen Inzaghi in black and white, and for those old timers (like myself) who enjoyed his wonderful ability to ghost into goalscoring positions>>>

I remember so many goals he scored when he seemed to materialise out of nowhere. Most his goals were scrappy or simple finishes but his ability to find the space was of a very high level.

Signed for 10m from Atalanta in 1997, Pippo went on to score 126 goals and provide 34 assists in 300 games for Juve, before his sale to AC Milan in 2001 for a cool 36m.

Benevento form guide

Which looks lame yet it is worth noting that they are capable of digging in to lock out opponents to pick up a point here and there.

Inzaghi should be congratulated on his work so far, having won Serie B last year (with 7 games to spare) and very much in the running to achieve their only goal of survival in Serie A, on a tiny budget. Yet this is our easiest fixture – albeit on paper – of all remaining on the calendar and nothing less than a victory can be expected.

TEAM NEWS

Unavailable – Dybala, Ramsey, Demiral, Sandro, Juan(suspended)

The positive of Juan’s suspension is that this allows Freddy B to continue his solid work of late at LB. I like him there, for he has shown competency and with Chiesa ahead of him, its the first pairing on the flank I have seen working all season. If he can continue to prove solid, perhaps his value to the squad finally becomes realised.

Danilo will then start on the right, in the hybrid RB/RWB role with hopefully Kulu ahead of him. We looked so much more powerful when attacking with such width against Cagliari and the young Swede is far more comfortable with space to run into, than playing with his back to goal, surrounded by defenders as a makeshift SS/CF.

One of Big Leo or Chiellini will partner De ligt at the back. And in the middle of the park, Rabiot seems the only sure bet, with Arthur expected to start beside him. Though Bentancur is revived and ready to rejoin the fray.

Morata and Ronaldo complete the starting XI>>>

I am glad to find Pirlo suggesting he wants to see an improvement in the quality of our play. And with a couple of weeks to focus on his system on the coaching field during the international break, we will hope that we can finally see the side appearing thereafter looking more cohesive.

Worth peeking at the tactical analysis by Mo>>>

My own hopes for the game are as always when facing the weakest opponents – win the game by half time, and bring on Fagioli, Di Pardo, Dragusin.