Juventus have kick-started their Serie A campaign with an emphatic 3-0 win against Sampdoria. While the clubs such as Inter Milan, Napoli, Lazio and even Sassuolo have upped their ante, there are doubts on whether Juve can cling onto their domestic dominance for another year. Furthermore, the Old Lady’s uneventful campaign last term despite winning the title has offered a ray of hope for the rivals.
Nonetheless, Andre Pirlo’s current Juve are still the favourites for the Scudetto this season and here are the reasons why.
A perfect system under Pirlo
Juve appear to have found a perfect system where all the players can thrive in it. Unlike Maurizio Sarri, who is quite stubborn with his approach, Pirlo looks more flexible in both the offensive and defensive transitions. Even Aaron Ramsey, who was dormant in the previous season, was fantastic in the fixture against Sampdoria. Juan Cuadrado returning to the wing-back role is the best-case scenario for the Colombian.
Sensible transfer strategies
Ever since Pirlo took over the charge at Turin, the first thing he looked at was how to get rid of the deadwoods. Having been able to get rid of Blaise Matuidi, Gonzalo Higuain and considers many other fringe players as expendables, Pirlo has done a decent job with it. Speaking of transfer signings, Weston McKennie and Alvaro Morata have been the new additions thus far, which also indicate Juve are going in the right direction. As a whole, Pirlo can have a near-perfect squad moving forward.
It will be no surprise if Pirlo puts more emphasis on the midfield since he himself is a legendary midfielder. Last season’s midfield was defunctive most of the times, which the opponents took advantage of. Now, the Bianconeri’s midfield looks robust, creative and free-flowing. Adrien Rabiot, Weston McKennie and Aaron Ramsey were the midfield trident Pirlo stuck with in the first game, and the outcome was brilliant. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that the current Juve midfield is the best in the league.
A well-rounded defence
Juve were victims to the counter-attacks from the opponents last season, and it played a huge role behind their defeats. Now with Pirlo implementing a back-three, where Leanardo Bonucci looks way more effective as the sweeper as does his compatriot Giorgio Chiellini, Juve can no more worry about the defensive woes. Matthijs de Ligt has also picked up his pace of late, and he would be vital to Pirlo’s system once he returns to the fold.
Ronaldo, Dybala, Kulusevski – an exciting partnership
Everybody knew how dependent Juve were on Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo last season, and perhaps the extra burden got the best out of the duo. Add Dejan Kulusevski to the squad, Juve are now posing a dangerous attacking partnership. Not to mention the likes of Morata and Ramsey, who are expected to be useful for Pirlo.
Inter Milan came close to knocking Juve down in the Scudetto race in the last season, and so did Lazio and Atalanta, but all ended up short. The Bianconeri still have the edge in the race for their tenth successive Scudetto this season.