Case Study: Sampdoria 0-0 Juventus 23/1/2011

Case Study: Sampdoria 0-0 Juventus 23/1/2011

Both clubs went into the game on the back of a poor month, with Sampdoria probably the favourites, having lost just once at home this season, while Juventus haven’t won away since December 5th and are struggling with a lengthy injury list.

Domenico Di Carlo set up Sampdoria in a pretty standard 4-4-2, while Juventus lined up a slightly more complicated 4-2-3-1.

With both teams pressing feistily, the game was rather scrappy early on and the clashes resulted in a rather injury-plagued opening, with Armand Traore and Stefano Lucchini replaced by Fabio Grosso and Pietro Accardi respectively.

With Claudio Marchisio’s tendency to drift inside, the width on the left should have come from the overlapping full-back; 33 year-old Grosso simply doesn’t have the energy to bomb down the wing like Traore would, and, although he was very good defensively and did attempt to get forward on occasion, he hampered Juventus’ attacks. This was particularly annoying for Juventus as Luciano Zauri gets drawn up the pitch too much – Alberto Aquilani got in behind him early on and Amauri was drifting towards the left whenever he moved up the pitch, but having a full-back storming into this space would have been a lot more useful for Juve.

Instead, Milos Krasic was given the task of providing width. He did a good job, using his pace to easily get past Reto Ziegler, but his crossing was indifferent and he could have done a better job by dribbling into the penalty area more, although the logic was sound, with Amauri an aerial threat.

Both teams tried to keep the passing short, but Amauri was occasionally used as the target of long balls, as was Sampdoria’s left winger Stefano Guberti, often receiving diagonal passes from the right flank. Although right-footed, Guberti generally looked to keep the width for Sampdoria and did an decent job, however this impeded Ziegler’s ability to get forward, although, when he did, he often gave the ball away cheaply.

With their extra man in midfield, Juventus did a better job of compressing the space between defence and midfield than Sampdoria, ensuring Federico Macheda and Giampaolo Pazzini didn’t have any space to drop into, while also offering defensive support to their full-backs. Too often early on, Andrea Poli had attempted to double up on Krasic and left Simone Pepe or Marchisio free in the middle. Having said this, Aquilani didn’t have a great game and clearly prefers playing alongside Felipe Melo to Momo Sissoko in the middle.

Eventually, Juventus changed to a 4-3-3 when they brought Alessandro Del Piero on, with him going left, Pepe right and Marchisio moving into his favoured central position. This didn’t really change anything though.

The game was low quality and although some chances came later on, most likely through tiredness, it remained scrappy all the way through. It wasn’t a particularly bad game for either team, but it certainly wasn’t good either, and neither coach will be happy to have missed a chance to build some momentum.

5 thoughts on “Case Study: Sampdoria 0-0 Juventus 23/1/2011

  1. I think Juve should play a 4-3-3 more often. With most of their central forwards out with injury, and Amauri being absolutely shambolic up front, I believe it makes more sense to play Del Piero as a false nine in the forward three. Krasic and Pepe on the wings providing width (even though Pepe seems to somehow weaken Juve’s attacking moves). Melo playing the defensive midfield, Aquilani as the falcrum and Marchisio as a central attacking midfield. Also, there may be a case for turning Pepe into an attacking fullback a la Zambrotta, as he seems more comfortable defending then attacking. If such a case was to occur, I would suggest using de Ceglie in an advanced forward wing (as he did to great effect under Zaccheroni) role along side Krasic (as I am writing this, pondering why Gigi Del Neri has only played de Ceglie 6 times during the league campaign, I have just read that his is out until March).

    I found it strange that del Neri has been playing the 4-2-3-1, as I thought the reason they got rid of Diego was because he struggled to fit into the del Neri’s favoured 4-4-2.

    1. Agree about the 4-3-3, not too sure about the Del Piero false nine idea though. I’m not sure of them without a more direct player on the wing. Not a fan of Pepe and I’d doubt Krasic would thrive in that role, generally prefer a striker a la Vucinic or Villa.

      I think Pepe played as a full-back earlier in the season, seem to remember him as part of back five, can’t remember who against though.

  2. Isn’t Pepe better on the wing? with the same players shown above it seems more sensible to have a 4231/433/4213 with Krasic and Pepe wide, Aquilani or Marchisio stepping up to link Midfield and attack with the other two midfielders bing more reserved. I know Del Neri is usually associated with a 442, but if he’s not going to play one (as for example he didn’t in this game) why not suit his players’ skill sets better?

  3. Wouldn’t it be nice if Juve could afford a striker a la Villa :(. After watching Juve’s 2-0 loss to Roma in the Coppa Italia this morning, I agree that Del Piero at false nine is not a good idea. In a way, letting him play a whole 90 minutes is not a good idea. He stayed on the ball far to long and continually tried to sprint past his markers even though it would have been far wiser to pass. The only thing that can save Juve from these dark days is if Platini comes out of retirement. As fat as he is, he’d still be better than most of the players on the Juve roster.

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