Nantes Juventus, favorite Kane, Vlahovic off the bench?

Nantes Juventus, favorite Kane, Vlahovic off the bench?

By our correspondent Pierfrancesco Archetti

A very sensitive match against the French national team, after a 1-1 draw in the first leg. Here’s how the coach wants to play it with four points

reading time: 4 minutes

It was inevitable. Massimiliano Allegri says this is like a final. Insignificant, but many think so, after the go draw. Juventus and its coach are hanging by a thread, and the last balance does not help: one win in the last nine matches in the cup. Nantes is waiting only nervousness and anxiety to repeat last week’s trick. Juventus’ last trip abroad, before they ran into the Champions League in 1996, this grand stadium was their stop, filled with the humid Atlantic air. This was the second leg of the last European Cup that the Bianconeri lifted at the end of the tournament. However, Juventus lost, after defeating the French in Turin, and then Ajax in the final in Rome. The only precedent here is remembered as emblematic of the potential project, omitting the sequel and linking last week’s match with Hope. Antoine Compoir, the opposing coach, teases: Juventus’ exit would be ridiculous, foolish. The coach can put up with this joke because for him it won’t be inside or outside that will decide this season, for Allegri. And the outcome of this play-off will affect Juventus’ budget for this year and next, given that the possibility of reaching the Champions League from this event is also at risk. It is the hole in the field against the decisions of the courts: but if everything collapsed even in the field already at the end of February, the rubble would have to be removed immediately. Including the position on the bench.

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Disposition on the field is not judged by numbers but by attitude, as coaches always say. But the four-star Juventus, with Kostic alongside Chiesa, Vilhovic and Di Maria, could have been a nod to the dressing room and to the opponents. You can’t, because Chiesa stayed in Turin. And Vlahovic could start on the bench, in favor of Kane, who gives more depth. Allegri’s idea is that the Serb could also be useful during the match, because “we have to think he’ll last 90 minutes and maybe longer.”

Kostic is the reigning champion, in this cup he won with Eintracht: among the many assists of the last season, he also has a goal in the final in his data. His position can be more advanced, perhaps sometimes extending behind a defender, as is the case with Chiesa in the first part of the first leg. Kostic, a former striker of Hamburg’s time, remains an attacking weapon of respect, also to keep him in greater contact with the attackers, without always resorting to long-range crosses, building a triangle of climbs and finishing in the goal area. Rabiot.


What can Allegri still do to avoid a fall? Having said that Nantes as a team is not as high as the blacks and the whites, it will be the position of Juventus that will determine the differences. If they want to pass, Juventus must avoid dividing their game into many mini-games, each characterized by different behaviours: aggressive, reserved, speculative, angry. We are not talking about managing the game with common sense, knowing when to speed up or brake, but about fears that suddenly arise and make black and whites change their appearance. Sunday power outages can also be seen in Spezia which Nantes may not forgive. The coach would then also focus on running Rabiot to break the line, after he tried to get the yellow guards to slide to the side. Turin’s Kompuare had deployed a five-man defense that stayed low and didn’t come off the trocar, but Di Maria had the space left in the goalpost. A powerful Rabiot move will weaken the opponent’s protection. A 1-1 draw does not protect the hosts, the rules have changed: at a certain point, if the balance is not broken, they will also have to expose themselves.

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All for one

It’s an in-or-out night for many players, too. You’ll also see locker room directions. A departure would accelerate farewells: some are almost certain, see Alex Sandro, Cuadrado, Paredes, but also for Di Maria a season without a Champions League, knowing that this is since February, could cause his return to Argentina, to close as always. required.

Everything about Di Maria is reliable anticipation: in important games, it’s Fideo who takes charge of tough plays, who generates the spark in the midst of so much competition. In France they know him, for his past at Paris Saint-Germain and for the last World Cup final. And the pride of heroes is always immeasurable.

But it is also up to the coach’s messengers, to those who must become the cornerstone of the new, more sustainable project, from Locatelli to Bremer, to prove unity of purpose with the bench, so that they do not have to start from scratch. In Nantes all Juventus without a goal today.

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