After the Bianconeri successfully nullified the attacking Chievo trident in Turin last week, Juventus.com profiles another trio – this time concerning the Zebrette men – who will try to prove the difference during this Sunday’s Serie A encounter between Udinese and the Old Lady at the Stadio Friuli.
This week’s edition puts Brazilian midfielder Allan, French frontman Cyril Thereau and club captain Antonio Di Natale under the spotlight, with the three players looking to stamp their authority throughout the game.
Position: Defensive midfielder
Allan is a combative midfielder who joined the club from Uruguayan outfit Deportivo Maldonado during the 2012 summer transfer window. The Brazilian is known as a dynamic player who possesses excellent work rate, dribbling skills, pace and good long passing ability.
Since arriving in Udine almost three years ago, Allan has been a mainstay within the side, racking up 88 appearances for the Zebrette as well as making the most tackles in Serie A (92) this season. He’ll be tasked with breaking down Bianconeri attacks on Sunday but will also look to demonstrate his attacking talent, having scored once and chipped in with two assists so far this campaign.
One for trivia buffs, the 24-year-old made his Serie A debut for Udinese during a 4-1 home defeat to Juventus back in September 2012.
Name: Cyril Thereau
Position: Attacking midfielder/Forward
French striker Thereau brought a four-year spell with Chievo to an end over the summer when he put pen to paper on a contract with the Zebrette. Dubbed as a workhorse when he led the line in Verona, he scored 26 goals in over a centenary of appearances which led Andrea Stramaccioni to bring him to the Stadio Friuli.
Now at the halfway stage of his first year in Udine, it’s safe to say that Thereau has been a hit. Seven strikes in 13 Serie A appearances during this 2014/15 campaign is an excellent return from the 31-year-old. Furthermore, the target man’s main attribute, great aerial ability, is not solely limited to be used in attacks given his adeptness in also helping out the defence.
A pivotal member of the side, his goals have won Udinese seven points over the course of this season, only Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala (both nine) and Jeremy Menez and Jose Callejon (both eight) have bagged their team more.
Name: Antonio Di Natale
Last but certainly not least is Di Natale. Easily the Zebrette player who strikes most fear into the hearts of opposition defences, the club captain is now a talismanic figure after almost 11 years of service. A quick, hardworking and versatile forward, the 37-year-old has 13 goals in all competitions to his name this season.
Courted by a plethora of clubs over the years, he has remained a faithful servant to Udinese and is their all-time top scorer with 202 goals. The former Italian international possesses strengths in abundance including his link-up play, counter attacking threat and prowess from dead-ball situations.
Once the first whistle sounds on Sunday, Di Natale will look to end a barren run against Juventus that dates back to April 2010 when he scored in a 3-0 victory over the Bianconeri in Udine. During his professional career, the ex-Empoli man has only found the net four times in 22 appearances against the Old Lady.