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Juventus: Back on the title race

With another decent performance, the Bianconeri managed to beat Fiorentina 3-1, earned their sixth straight win and are now officially back on track for another Serie A title, as they are just six points behind league leaders Inter Milan.

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Apart from the loss to Sevilla on Tuesday night, which cost Juventus the first place in group D and led to the club playing against Bayern Munich in the last 16, Max Allegri’s team has been in a tremendous form in the past couple of months.

The club has been undefeated in the league since the end of October, making an impressive counter-attack and climbing back to the top of the table.

The main reason for the squad’s resurgence is certainly Claudio Marchisio. The versatile midfielder offered the balance and experience the side was lacking in the beginning of the season, which were vital for Juventus in order to build a solid identity.

More specifically, the Bianconeri lost only once in the seven league matches they played, namely to Sassuolo (on October 28th), coincidentally the one game Marchisio had missed.

Most importantly, Allegri’s decision to limit the rotation in the starting squad let certain players find the continuity required to ensure better performances and more consistent displays.

In the beginning of the season, the coach wanted to create an entire new squad and that was the main reason for the radical changes. However, this situation led to the side losing cohesion and looking like a group of individuals attempting to win the game.

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As a result, Juventus were making mediocre and disjointed performances, as the Italian manager was trying to cope with the injuries and absences he had in his effort to find the right balance.

Two months later, though, things are completely different. Marchisio and Paul Pogba have taken over in the midfield, while Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci play better game after game, with Paulo Dybala having enhanced his overall performance and creating a decent duo with Mario Mandzukic in the offensive line.

As a result, a set line-up and idea have been settled and the presence of Stefano Sturaro, Patrice Evra and Juan Cuadrado has helped Juventus create a decent and strong squad, which managed to become again a significant title contender.

With that being said, I believe that if Cuadrado enhances his overall performance, then the squad will be unstoppable.

The reason is that the Colombian seems to play better when he entirely focuses on pushing forward, unconcerned by defensive duties. Such examples were his presence in the matches against Empoli, Genoa and even Sevilla. So, maybe, it would be better for the club to have another player as a wing-back in order for the Colombian to find a place in the offensive line.

Allegri, though, wants to help his player adapt to the duality of his role as a wing back, in order to make the most of the varied skill set he offers the side and not overwhelm him and what remains to be seen is whether he will managed to do this or not.

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At the end, Juventus is on the zone in the past couple of months and has returned to the title race determined to climb on top and win another Serie A title.

Certainly, the next rounds will be vital for the club’s effort to cut the deficit from Inter Milan. Right now, though, Juventus in one of the best squads in the league and certainly has the momentum on its side.

 

*Images from: bleacherreport.com, sports.ndtv.com, bleacherreport.com

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