After an excellent first-season in charge, winning the fourth consecutive Serie A for Juventus as well as the Copa Italia and reaching the Champions League final, Massimiliano Allegri faces a hard task ahead of the 2015-2016 season.
The departures of three first team starters, Andrea Pirlo, Arturo Vidal and Carlos Tevez, will no doubt have hit them hard.
Pirlo's playmaking ability from deep was one of their best creative outlets, Vidal the engine of the midfield and Tevez their star striker who guaranteed goals.
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Juventus have wasted no time in making signings. Sami Khedira came in for free to replace Arturo Vidal and three new strikers, Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic and Simone Zaza. The changes in the squad clearly signal for a change in formation and playing style.
Allegri's favoured formation for Juventus' pre-season friendlies,this is a shift from the two-striker 4-3-1-2 formation used by Allegri last season.
With Allegri's desire for a specialist No10 not being the best kept secret in the transfer market, it is clear that the new No10 will play right behind the three strikers with two central midfielders behind him. The No10 will serve to compensate for the relative lack of creativity of the new strikers as compared to Tevez.
The back four will remain the same as last season and either two of Khedira, Claudio Marchisio and Paul Pogba will play as central midfielders. The first choice strikers for this formation are Alvaro Morata on left, Dybala on the right and Mandzukic playing down the middle. Allegri may be onto a winning combination here, but that depends on how well the strikers take to their new roles.
Morata on the left?
With Morata having a successful 2014-2015, scoring 15 goals in all competitions, including the goal that knocked his former team Real Madrid out of the Champions League semi-final and one in the final against Barcelona, he deserves to be a starter in the squad.
He worked very well down the centre playing off of Tevez. The majority of his goals were poached, which is down to his excellent positioning in the penalty area. Playing on the left, however, his options to hover in and around the penalty area would be limited.
He would need to run at defenders more, making more dribbles, which unfortunately, isn't his greatest strength. There is no doubt that Dybala will excel on the right, using his explosive pace and dribbling ability to cut onto his favoured left foot and shoot. Mandzukic has proven over the recent years at various top European clubs that he is a world-class striker, and should have no problem slotting into the centre-forward position.
If Morata manages to alter his play style slightly, he should be able to thrive in this formation. He needs to improve his ability to beat defenders, create chances and shoot from distance, which shouldn't be very hard for him considering he's decent at both already.
Like Cristiano Ronaldo has done so excellently all of last season, he needs to find space inside the box to shoot while drifting in from the left wing. If he does all of this and if his strike partners Mandzukic and Dybala deliver as they are expected to, we could be looking at one of Europe's best strike forces
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