Polish goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will replace skipper Gianluigi Buffon as champions Juventus look to make it five Serie A wins out of five against Fiorentina on Wednesday.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri wants to rotate with an eye on Saturday’s Turin derby and Szczesny, who signed from Arsenal in the summer after two years on loan at Roma, will come in for Buffon a week after Juventus’ 3-0 Champions League flop in Barcelona.
“After the game with Barcelona I decided, together with Gigi, to play Szczesny in this game,” said Allegri.
“Szczesny is a player, a goalkeeper, worthy of the best seven or eight teams in Europe and he’ll be the heir to Buffon.
“That doesn’t mean I have more or less confidence. Given the congested fixture list we have at present, it’s important that every member of the squad plays their part and it’s great having two goalkeepers of such quality at my disposal.”
Allegri’s side have won four out of four league games so far this season to sit joint top with Napoli and Inter Milan, largely thanks to the incredible form of Argentine forward Paulo Dybala, who has scored eight goals.
But Fiorentina arrive full of confidence in Turin after kick-starting their campaign with back-to-back wins against Verona and Bologna.
“Fiorentina have brought through some fantastic young players into their ranks,” said Allegri.
“They will play without pressure tomorrow night, so we need to approach the match with the right level of respect and put in a solid performance, especially in defence, in order to pick up the three points.”
Fiorentina have pedigree on their side with in-form forwards Giovanni Simeone, son of Atletico Madrid coach Diego Simeone, and Federico Chiesa, son of former Italian international striker Enrico Chiesa.
– Immobile danger –
Napoli are also on a maximum 12 points and are top of the table on goal difference, but face a big test against Lazio.
Simone Inzaghi’s Roman outfit are coming off three straight wins after their opening-night goalless draw with SPAL.
For Napoli — who have the best attack in the league with 15 goals scored — the danger should come from forward Ciro Immobile, born in the suburbs of Naples, who has netted five goals in two Serie A games.
Inter Milan, the third team with maximum points, could take provisional pole as they play Bologna on Tuesday night.
Bologna are coming off their second defeat of the season — falling 2-1 at Fiorentina — to sit in 13th position.
AC Milan, in fifth after a loss among their three wins, host promoted SPAL, who are 14th.
Roma, who have a game in hand on the leaders, will be expecting nothing less than three points at tailenders Benevento.