Juventus are set to lock horns with their arch rivals Inter on Sunday night in an encounter that is referred to as the Derby d’Italia.
Although football matches are played on the pitch, this one in particular seems set to be a true tactical battle between the two coaches, Antonio Conte on one side, and his former player Andrea Pirlo on the other.
Both tacticians will prepare the match while looking after every little detail, not leaving anything for chance. Thus, several personal duels will take place between the 22 players on the Guiseppe Meazza pitch, but in this piece we’ll shift our focuss on the role of one particular player.
After a long stint at Arsenal, Aaron Ramsey arrived at Juventus as a free agent in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately for the Welshman, his first season at the club under Maurizio Sarri saw him being shifted between several playing positions, and rarely being able to truly influence the matches.
However, with the arrival of Pirlo at the beginning to the current campaign, the midfielder suddenly became a more prominent feature in the new coach’s lineups, as his tactical role is well appreciated by the 2006 world champion.
An hour before the match, Juve’s official social media accounts will likely release a starting lineup featuring Ramsey as a left winger in a 4-4-2 formation.
On the other hand, some analysts will draw a 3-4-1-2 formation, with the Welshman playing as an attacking-midfielder.
The truth arguably lies somewhere in-between, as Pirlo has so far enjoyed confusing his opponents with his versatile tactical schemes.
On the other hand, Conte’s lineup will be much more certain. In his 3-5-2 formation, Marcelo Brozovic will operate in front of the defense, as he will be the lynchpin which links all the Nerazzurri lines.
On the wings, Achraf Hakimi’s forward runs will be a major key for Inter, as the Moroccan wing-back will try to be the provider for the striking Duo of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.
Thus, the Juventus boss will no doubt look to stop both Brozovic and Hakimi from delivering the ball forward, and this is where Ramsey’s key role comes to play.
The Welshman might not be the most technically gifted player in Juventus, but his ability to press high up the field has been a vital element in the most difficult of matches.
So Pirlo will eventually deploy him either as an attacking midfielder in order to prevent Brozovic from orchestrating Inter’s plays from deep, or as a left winger who will help Gianluca Frabotta in closing down the flank on Hakimi, or maybe a little bit of both.
No matter what Ramsey’s exact role will be on Sunday, Juve’s success could depend on how will he’ll be able to perform it.