It’s time we start being perfectly honest with ourselves, we have a Juventus problem. Marco Amelia said it best, "In Serie A there are no simple games, our strength is in focusing on the quality of each individual. When we do that there is nothing for our opponents." So in order to keep our little black and white problem at bay, we have to continue to focus on each and every league game and opponent and Bologna is no different. Last season this was a resounding 3-0 win, this year the result needs to stand so we can continue to stay within striking distance of Juventus. As if that was not enough Juventus play Roma on Monday, fresh off of three red cards and the drama that is AS BarcaRoma continues to surprise no one! But let’s focus now on the task at hand.
Amelia will continue to mind the net, and outside of the two goals midweek at PLZEN he has been steady in the absence of Abbiati. Abate, Silva, and Antonini will most likely start on defense, which leaves the question of who partners with Silva. My vote Mexes, but the tactics in a match like this one may prove better suited for Yepes allowing Silva to press forward and aid in breaking down the wall of defense that Bologna will most likely employ, then again Mexes has more speed on the counter!? Oh the beauty of choices!
Nocerino will miss out, and Prince will have to face a last minute fitness test, and personally if he is unfit I would prefer he be rested. This sadly leaves Seedorf prime for a start, but one can argue Urby earned his keep midweek. The question becomes do you play Aqui, Van Bommel and Ambro in the midfield with Urby ahead, or swap Urby for Ambro/Van Bommel and use the slower Seedorf to help with possession and breaking down the defense. Again the luxury of choice here for Allegri, but I say let’s reward Urby for a solid midweek showing. Zlatan is as always a shoe-in, but his partner in crime remains a mystery. Pato was hot and cold midweek, a Pato-esque first half, and a solid second, but Robinho seems to benefit most from Zlatan’s work around the box and his work rate is simply second to none. My choice in Brazilians will always fall to Robinho, then again how do you continue to inflate the value of Pato on the bench?
My winning eleven:
Amelia, Abate, Silva, Mexes, Antonini; Aquilani, Van Bommel, Urby; Clarence; Zlatan, Robinho
Ambrosini played midweek, so he is off it for me. Mexes and Urby earned themselves a place, and if Pato is to be sold in January to make room for Tevez, better we he doesn’t go and get hurt. He has played a few to many games on the trot without an injury. Pippo can be used in this match, but at this point you have to ask what’s the point? As I have stated in the past, the time was great and take nothing away, but this team is FINALLY moving forward, let El Shaarawi take the minutes when available. Midfield cover is slim in this match, so a strong first half and the ability to close out the game is a welcome goal, but goals have been hard to come by away from home, time to fix that problem. I am sure Zlatan will have an idea or two on how to do that. See you all Sunday for a fantastic 9AM EST start, game to broadcast on FSC, and aspirations of a live blog, but please don’t hold your breath! I don’t want that on my conscience.