Last Saturday, Juventus were forced to play their major showdown against Napoli while deprived of five of their stars who returned late from South America due to the international break.
From Paulo Dybala in attack, to Rodrigo Bentancur in the middle of the park, Juan Cuadrado on the wings, all the way to the Brazilian fullback duo of Danilo and Alex Sandro, Max Allegri was left with a depleted squad.
Add to that the absence of Federico Chiesa, and the unconvincing performance witnessed at the Stadio Maradona becomes somewhat justifiable – even though most of the players on the pitch still underperformed.
If the importance of the five South Americans wasn’t clear enough, then Allegri decided to field them all in the Champions League opener against Malmo, and ilBianconero highlights their influence on the team.
The first goal was an all Latin affair, with Cuadrado delivering the cross, Bentancur having a slight touch on the ball and Sandro breaking the deadlock against the Swedes. The former Porto man had never scored in the competition ever before.
Moreover, Sandro and Cuadrado were both noticeably dangerous on the flanks, causing all sort of problems for the Swedish defense.
On the other hand, Danilo was solid in defense, while Dybala added the second from the spot, and also provided a spark of talent that was obviously missing last weekend.
Let’s hope that Allegri wouldn’t have to contend another encounter with a dismantled squad again this season.