What a week it has been for Juventus. Things were looking up for them after defeating Lazio. Then they suffer their worst ever Champions League defeat ever in a 4-0 loss to Chelsea. It can't get worse right? Well, how about being under investigation for financial fraud. And for the cherry ontop, during a 1-0 loss to Atalanta, both Weston McKennie and Fredrico Chiesa were withdrawn with injuries.
Chiesa was taken out at halftime with a suspected left leg issue while McKennie was subbed in the 64th minute with a right knee sprain. Both will undergo further scans but these are massive losses for Juventus. Chiesa is an irreplaceable player and manager Max Allegri has consistently called McKennie one of his most important midfielders. There won't be much downtime either with a matchup against Salernitana coming on Tuesday as double game weeks are upon us.
Moise Kean will likely deputize for Chiesa while McKennie's replacement will depend on the chosen formation due to his versatility. But as a new issues threaten Allegri's second stint with the club, something has to give sooner than later. For the United States men's national team, there is also a lot riding on the outcome of McKennie's scans with World Cup Qualifiers against El Salvador, Canada and, Honduras at the end of January.
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Meanwhile the match itself marked another home loss for Allegri's side, their third of the season. Their defense performed competently enough despite giving up a goal. The team only conceded seven total shots worth 0.49 xG. On another day they very well might have kept a clean sheet and not conceded to a Duvan Zapata strike in the 28th minute. The problems came on the attacking side. With Chiesa unable to play in the second half, Juventus were simply unable to create any good chances and were left helplessly flailing way from distance. Sure, they managed 15 shots, but only two ended up on target. Their xG was only 0.85 total despite having to chase the game at home for over an hour.
Specifically, Chiesa's replacement in the second half, Fernando Bernadeschi was totally unable to influence the match. Despite taking three shots, the xG value of those attempts was only 0.11, reflecting problems emblematic for the whole team. Juve simply have no attacking ideas. This is especially concerning given that they were playing Atalanta, a team themselves not exactly known for being defensive stalwarts. Even when they're winning, Atalanta play a run and gun style with wingbacks getting up the field, overloading the wings and attacking to try and lengthen a lead. If Juve can't break them down, how are they going to begin to attack more committed defensive sides.
So, if you're keeping track at home, Juve's week is now over, and they've got two losses, five goals conceded, zero goals scored, two injuries, and one criminal investigation to deal with. Maybe next week will be better?