Pirlo dilemma facing Allegri as Juventus face Monaco
Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri faces a tricky dilemma for their Champions League clash against AS Monaco tonight (Live Sky Sports 1 7.45) as he tries to decide whether to field Andrea Pirlo after the playmaker's recovery from injury.
Pirlo has not played since he suffered a calf strain against Borussia Dortmund seven weeks ago and, at 35, it could be a risky move to throw him straight into the quarter-final first leg in Turin.
Although he retains the ability to change a game with a single slide-rule pass or majestic free kick, the odd sign of vulnerability has crept into his game especially when trying to play his way out of a tight spot near his own penalty area.
Saturday's shock Serie A defeat against bottom-of-the-table Parma, when Juventus rested a number of regular players, has suggested their strength in depth may not be quite as impressive as previously thought.
Juventus are also missing their other key midfielder Paul Pogba.
And, facing Monaco's miserly defence, Allegri is likely to need all the creativity he can muster to supply attacking duo Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata.