KEY PLAYERS: JUVENTUS VS BOLOGNA
The reigning Italian champions yet again won another domestic title beating Napoli in the Supercoppa. Despite an 18th crown in almost 8 and half years, Juventus have an uphill task to retain their Serie A title after a poor start to the season which forced them to sit 10 points adrift of the summit. On Sunday Pirlo's men will entertain Bologna at home and we look at the players who will be key in defeating Bologna at the Allianz.
1. Arthur Melo:
One of the hometakes of the Wednesday's game at the Mapei Stadium was that Arthur deserves a guaranteed spot in the Juve midfield. His press resistance and accuracy in his passes were vital in that night where Juve had the lion share of the ball possessions. Many of the teams in Serie A will approach games against Juve in a mid/low block and Bologna is no different. Teams organised in low/mid block will always look to catch opponents in the break instantly after gaining possession. Mistimed and misplaced passes are the main ways the opposition can regain possession. While most of the Juve midfield players are prone to this Arthur hardly misplaces/mistimes a pass which will be the thing Pirlo wants on Sunday so as to neutralize Bologna's attack.
Just hours after his covid-test came back negative, Cuadrado went on to play 95 minutes against Napoli which earned him applause from many. A very strong display both in attack and defense was later on compimented with his wonderful assist that saw Morata score his 12th goal of the season. Fede Chiesa was forced to leave the game at half time against Napoli after he sustained an injury and his chance of playing is now hanging on balance. So the Colombian international is expected to retain his place in the right channel against Bologna. With already 9 assists to his name this season, Cuadrado's absence was felt in the last games as forwars duo's Cristiano and Morata were craving for chances to be created. On Sunday, he is expected to provide them with crosses and long balls to help them in doing what they do best.
3. Alvaro Morata:
The Spaniard has had an upturn in form after his move back to Turin with his partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo already producing a massive 32 goals with just a game away from the half of the season. Morata alone has scored 12 times in all competition, weighing on a further 7 assists. His runs in and around the box have always created room for Ronaldo who as Morata recently said is tightly marked by 2 or 3 players in every game. Morata alone can be a headache for any opponent, but just not in the attacking phase as his pressing high up the pitch has been another factor for Pirlo to put him in the lineups everytime he is fit.