The strange and unusual season is now past the halfway. The Italian champions now seem to have found their momentum after a very good January which saw them win 8 of their 9 games. And February will not be easier either, as Juve will face their fierce rivals Inter in a Coppa Italia semi-final clash on Tuesday. Below we take a look at the key players that will be vital for a Juve win in the first game of the double header.
1. Danilo: Without doubt the most improved player of the season, Danilo will once again expected to feature in the left side of the 3 man defence Pirlo prefers. In the last meeting between the two sides, Frabotta and Ramsey's pairing in the left channel was easily beaten as Barella and Hakimi took advantage of the inexperience of Frabotta and the defensive fragility of Ramsey. With many key players back now, Pirlo is expected to have Fede Chiesa and Danilo on the left side with Danilo given the responsibility to stop the runs of Barella and whoever replaces the suspended Hakimi.
2. Federico Chiesa: Alongside Weston Mckennie and Morata, the former Fiorentina star is in contention to be named the best signing of the 2020 summer. His pace, finishing and his off-the ball movements have been impressive ever-since his arrival from Florence. On Tuesday, Chiesa is once again expected to create problems to the Inter backline which is expected to be a 5 man defense out of possession. Whoever starts as a RWB for Inter tomorrow, will have a long night where they should keep tabs on the pacy Italian. This inturn could minimize the attacking potency of Conte's men as breaking forward with the wing-backs may not be all-positive as it was in the past matches given the strength of Chiesa.
3. Arthur Melo: After the slow start to life in Turin, Arthur has now become an integral part of Pirlo's midfield 3 as his partnership with Mckennie and Rodrigo Bentancur proving to be the best combination in the middle of the park for the Italian champs. On Tuesday, Arthur's ball retaining ability will be key for Juve as they should try to switch the balls time and again in an attempt to create openings between the 5-3-2 Inter defensive system. His mouth-watering passing accuracy will be a headache for Conte as his teams will always look to attack opponents instantly after they dispossess them.