Word stemming from the Italian media on Thursday points towards potentially serious trouble brewing in the camp of Serie A champions Juventus.
Toiling in Turin
The campaign, to date, has of course proven an altogether underwhelming one for Juve.
This comes with the Bianconeri having struggled to adapt to the teachings of new boss Andrea Pirlo, after the legendary midfielder was thrown in at the deep end in Turin on the back of Maurizio Sarri’s sacking last summer.
The Old Lady, to their credit, have bagged an Italian Super Cup, as well as booking their spot in next month’s Coppa Italia final.
However, when it has really mattered most, the previously ruthless Italian heavyweights have come up short.
On the domestic front, the club’s stranglehold over Serie A looks set to come to an imminent end over the weeks ahead, with Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan a full 10 points clear of Juventus at the division’s summit.
In Europe, meanwhile, the Bianconeri were sent packing from the Champions League by underdog opposition for the 3rd-straight campaign last month, this time at the hands of Porto, in the round of 16.
THIS IS TRULY INCREDIBLE!!!!
Sérgio Oliveira scores for 10-man Porto and the visitors are on the brink of going through!
WHAT. A. GAME! pic.twitter.com/PkUAlrfxd5
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2021
Dybala amongst irresponsible trio
As such, it goes without saying that Pirlo and co. are no doubt desperate for a strong season run-in, ahead of the resumption of the Serie A campaign this weekend.
But, as outlined above, if the early signs stemming from the club are anything to go by, then things may well be set to go from bad to worse over the weeks ahead.
This comes with confirmation having been forthcoming – on the part of a host of Italian sources – that Juventus are considering excluding three of the club’s stars from their squad for the Derby della Mole this weekend.
Turin rivalries are set to be renewed on Saturday evening, when the Bianconeri make the trip to the Olimpico di Torino.
As revealed on Thursday, though, the trio of Paulo Dybala, Arthur and Weston McKennie could be banned from the club’s matchday squad, following a party at the latter’s house this week.
Reports suggest that at least ten people were present at the get-together, which directly broke Italian guidelines relating to Covid-19 restrictions.
Those in a position of power at the Allianz Stadium, in turn, are said to have been left so livid with their three stars, that they are now considering suspending Dybala, Arthur and McKennie for this weekend’s derby:
— Romeo Agresti (@romeoagresti) April 1, 2021
This comes on the same day that Leonardo Bonucci has returned a positive test for Covid-19.
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This article was edited by Robert Fosterman.