It has been a chaotic month for Juventus fans. The new year started with some negative news for the club as Juve have been handed a 15-point deduction from the current Serie A standings and former club chairman Andrea Agnelli was suspended for two years from holding office in Italian soccer due to mishandling and manipulating transfer finances. This new scandal around the club forced the current sporting director Federico Cherubini to keep the current roster for the remaining part of the season while awaiting the comebacks of key players Federico Chiesa and Dusan Vlahovic.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side reacted after losing 2-0 at home last Sunday against Monza and won 1-0 on Thursday against Lazio in the Coppa Italia’s quarterfinals and will face Inter Milan in the semifinal. It was Bremer who scored the lone goal:
Despite a quite negative season so far, Juventus have positioned themselves well to still salvage what has been a rocky season. There are three reasons why Juve end the campaign with a trophy or even two:
Getting key players back
First of all, as mentioned above, some key Juventus players are finally back in the squad. Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa both started together Thursday and that is definitely a good news for Massimiliano Allegri considering that he basically hasn’t been able to count on both of them. This is because Dusan Vlahovic was signed from Fiorentina in January 2022, the same month when Federico Chiesa tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season. The Italian winger was back right before the beginning of the 2022 World Cup, when Dusan Vlahovic was out as well due to groin pain issues. Having both of them is positive news for the fans and for coach Allegri, who is now also hopeful to see the much awaited comeback of Paul Pogba becoming a reality. The French star still has to make his debut after returning to the club in the summer, and it looks now that the wait is almost over.
Two chances at silverware
The Bianconeri had a disappointing Champions League’s campaign as they were knocked out of the group stage with PSG, Benfica and Maccabi Haifa. They will now play in the Europa League and will face Nantes in the first round of the elimination phase this month. Juventus also had a pretty negative Serie A start, but then won eight matches in a row and got to a pretty good spot in the table before the 15-point deduction and the 5-1 away loss to Napoli. Despite that, Juventus are still in the race to win the Coppa Italia and also have good chances at being a contender to win the Europa League title. Allegri knows that these two competitions will shape the imminent future of the club and will also define the season.
The appeal against the decision
Despite the decision of the federal court, Juventus can still hope to see those 15 points restored. In fact, the club have officially submitted an appeal. The 15-point penalty is harsher than the nine-point deduction recommended by the prosecutor and for this reason the club hope that those points won’t be confirmed after the appeal. This all comes after the club’s recent financial statements were under scrutiny by prosecutors and Italian market regulator CONSOB in the past months for alleged false accounting and market manipulation. The investigation led to the board stepping down in November, which also marked the end of an era for Agnelli. The club acknowledged the so-called “salary maneuvers” from the 2019-20 and 2020-21 fiscal years, adding that “the complexity of such profiles on valuation elements may be subject to different interpretations.”