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Juventus v Sassuolo

Despite the loss of De Ligt to the plague, adding to our other absentees, the side should be in fine fettle. Still buoyed with renewed belief after the exciting victory over the league leaders, our resurgent old foe of yesteryear AC Milan.

Whilst some point instantly towards clear signs of progress, and the result, at least on paper, adds weight to this, my own stance remains to hold fire on such judgements.

Some tentative positives to take from out last performance, beyond the obvious value in gaining ground on the sides above us in the table….

Dybala appears to be picking up confidence, sharpness and form.

Chiesa is finding himself more often in the right area, as in the final third, and is causing damage whenever he plays.

Tek gave his best showing of the season to date. Just as well.

On the negative front…Bentancur remains close to woeful, even direct from the kick-off he was making serious errors. Must be benched sooner rather than later, to get his head and feet right.

The midfield remains muddled, with little fluency, players not seeming to understand where to be and when.

Rabiot is not fresh and was rarely involved for anything useful.

I saw a remarkably open game. Pioli set his charges to stick with the program, play on the front foot despite the lengthy list of missing in action, and they carved out plenty of good chances to score. More than we managed, I will add. Which is of some importance to my own measures of progress, for to find Tek by far the busier of the keepers, against a ramshackle side missing far more than from our ranks, continued my ongoing summary of a side which is stronger than most, especially at the back and up top, which struggles always in midfield, and wins games mainly on balance of talent on field always being tipped in our favour, not yet in any way consistently finding success through the system clicking into place and momentum, cohesion, form all soaring in the right direction.

Yet admittedly, I am a cynical old chap. So perhaps I am too stuck in my ways, to see what others see. It is certainly possible, even likely. Yet more will be known through the coming fixtures, beginning with the game tomorrow.

It is a shame that the visitors will be missing their star player, Berardi…And yet to be fair, their form in general of late, even with their talisman involved, has not been particularly impressive. With just 2 wins from their last 6 outings.

On paper, we should trounce them…

Possible formation

Previews and worthy ramblings from other splendid juventini…

From Guiseppe and Mo

From Roman

From Al