Football Manager 2020: Zebre (Juventus) Team Guide – Tactics, formations, transfer targets & more
The Italian giants have domestic football locked down, but can they finally win in Europe?
Serie A has been dominated by Juventus for the last decade.
The Old Lady of Turin has claimed the last eight titles, often at a canter, and is home to some of the most talented players in world football.
If they are so dominate and talented then why take the reins in Football Managers 2020?
Well, not only do they have some superb history that you can add to, they also have a goal: European triumph.
For years now, winning the Champions League has been their sole aim, and they have fallen short.
Remember, thanks to their exclusive deal with PES, Juventus is named “Zebre” in Football Manager 2020.
So can you walk into Turin and deliver them the one trophy they are missing?
This new feature has been a big success in FM20. It is both a short-term and long-term set of goals for the club under your direction, as laid out by the board.
It includes play style aims, financial targets, and competition results, with increasing expectations over each year of your tenure.
READ MORE: FM20: Chelsea Team Guide
Juventus’ aims are quite clear. On the field you have to win Serie A and at least make the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
More importantly though, you have to maintain their standard as one of the biggest clubs in the world and sign high-profile players.
Tactical style & formations
Juventus have an incredibly strong squad across the board so you will want to use a very forward-thinking tactical style. The ideal one for their quality out wide and in the midfield is vertical tiki-taka.
This possession-focused tactic focuses on quick, progressive passing with a high-press mentality when the ball is lost.
The ideal formation for this is a 4-1-4-1 DM Wide. It gives a solid defensive structure with a back four and defensive midfielder to shield them, but encourages creative wide play, overlaps from the full-backs, and is predicated on a midfield that can move the ball well.
Your starting XI in this formation should be Wojciech Szczesny in goal, with a back four of Danilo, Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, and Alex Sandro.
You are spoiled for choice in midfield, but using Blaise Matuidi at DM and Rodrigo Bentacur and Miralem Pjanic as your midfield duo is best. Your front three can be Paulo Dybala on the right, Cristiano Ronaldo on the left, and Gonzalo Higuain up front.
A secondary formation of 4-2-3-1- Wide would also be useful to train your team into, as it would allow Dybala to play more centrally.
On the bench you should have Gianluigi Buffon, Matthijs de Ligt, Mattia De Sciglio, Adrien Rabiot, Aaron Ramsey, Federico Bernardeschi, and Mario Mandzukic.
There is so much talent on this team that you should be rotating regularly without risking much.
This Juventus squad is bursting with talent at nearly every position. Some of it is on the wrong side of 30 though, so be sure to promote the younger players through too.
|Cristiano Ronaldo||AM (L)|
|34||195/196||20 natural fitness, 20 determination, 20 penalty taking|
|Giorgio Chiellini||D (C)||34||170/174||20 bravery, 19 tackling, 18 positioning|
|Paulo Dybala||AM (RC)|
|25||168/182||19 Technique, 17 flair, 17 first touch|
|Leonardo Bonucci||D (C)||32||167/173||19 anticipation, 19 positioning, 18 leadership|
|Douglas Costa||M (RL)|
|28||165/172||18 acceleration, 18 dribbling, 18 technique|
That is a lot of talent. Not much needs to be said about Cristiano Ronaldo, but it is safe to say he is still a world-class force.
The centre back pairing of Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci are elite despite their age, while Douglas Costa and Paulo Dybala are quality attacking options too.
Of course, three of these players are 32 or older, so they don’t have long left at the top level…
Fortunately, Juventus aren’t short of talented players that do have a long career ahead of them. These are their best players aged 20 or younger when you take over.
Matthijs de Ligt – CA 3 star (154), PA 5 star (160-190)
Still just 19, the young Dutch defender hit the headlines last season as the captain of Ajax during their magical run to the Champions League semi-final. That led to a move to Juventus, where he is already displacing established world-class defenders.
READ MORE: Football Manager 2020 Wonderkid left wingers
Matthijs de Ligt is arguably the best wonderkid in Football Manager 2020. With 17 heading, 16 work rate, and 16 determination already and that massive PA range of 160-190 the sky is the limit for him.
Luca Pellegrini – CA 2 star (130), PA 3.5 star (140-170)
Currently on loan at Cagliari, Luca Pellegrini is the future left-back for Juventus when Alex Sandro moves on.
The 20-year-old already has 17 determination and 14 pace, along with 14 crossing and 13 tackling. His strong PA range and the experience he gets on loan means he can be a leading player for you in the future.
Manolo Portanova – CA 1.5 star (104), PA 3.5 star (130-160)
Manolo Portanova is a young central midfielder with the world at his feet. You’ll find him in the U23 side, where he will be tearing it up until you send him on loan.
READ MORE: Barcelona Team Guide
The central midfielder already has a solid 15 pace, 15 first touch, and 15 technique. His 104 CA means he is hardly ready for the first-team, but with a PA range that gets up to 160 he could be a quality player eventually.
Starting transfer budget: £30.14 million
Remaining transfer budget: £11,220 a week
Juventus don’t have many holes and the main one they will develop, centre back, is covered by Matthijs de Ligt. You also have very little wage budget to work with when you first take over, which means your first summer in charge could be a quiet one.
There isn’t necessarily dead-weight in this squad, but there are a lot of options that you don’t always need. Mario Mandzukic and Marko Pjaca would clear £246,000 a week of wage budget space and bring in around £20 million in transfer fees if you were move on from them. That would free up some space for a young striker to lead the line.
READ MORE: Wonderkid Eduardo Camavinga is a must-buy
With Ronaldo at 34, Mandzukic 33, and Higuain 31 finding a striker that has some time ahead of him will be key. Enter Erling Haaland.
The quintessential Football Manager wonderkid, Haaland has been a must-buy all year. With 16 finishing and 18 off the ball, the 18-year-old already has strong-enough stats to start for Juve.
Agreeing on a future deal for him to arrive after your first season is a nice way of delaying the cost, not angering Higuain, and grabbing him before anyone else can.
There is no doubt that Juventus are about to enter a transition phase. They have nine first-team players aged 30 or more, with two stars, Chiellini and Ronaldo, on the verge of retirement.
Their summer signings of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey give the midfield nice depth so you don’t need to worry there. You also have some quality young defenders to lean on so using your limited financial power on attackers would be wise.
Juventus have four first-team players on the final year of their contract when you take over.
Club icon Gianluigi Buffon is 41 and can be allowed to leave, as can winger Juan Cuadrado and stalwart Giorgio Chiellini.
The one player you will want to retain on a short-term basis is Blaise Matuidi. Defensive midfielders like him can be hard to find and he still has a lot of quality.
READ MORE: Best young goalkeepers (GKs) to buy in FM20
There is more trouble coming at the end of the 20-21 season, with Wojciech Szczesny and Daniele Rugani the vital players to retain.
Both Gonzalo Higuain and Mario Mandzukic are also expiring in June 2021, adding emphasis to the need to cash-in on Mandzukic and sign a younger striker.
Juventus’ last Champions League success came in 1996 in a star-studded final against Ajax. That is too long ago for a massive club like Juve.
Securing Serie A every year is your ticket to staying employed, but winning the Champions League must be your goal.
It won’t be easy given the quality of the English and Spanish giants, but you have the benefit of Cristiano Ronaldo and some world-class players too.
Full Zebre (Juventus) Player Ratings
|Wojciech Szczesny||29||GK||SK||Attack||3 star||165/169|
|Giorgio Chiellini||34||D (C)||CD||Defend||3.5 Star||170/174|
|Leonardo Bonucci||32||D (C)||BPD||Cover||4 Star||167/173|
|Alex Sandro||28||D (L)|
|Paulo Dybala||25||AM (RC)|
|Cristiano Ronaldo||34||AM (RL)|
|Gonzalo Higuain||31||ST||DLF||SUpport||4 Star||165/180|
|Substitutes & reserves|
|Gianluigi Buffon||41||GK||SK||Attack||3 Star||157/187|
|Matthijs de Ligt||19||D (C)||BPD||Defend||3 Star||154/160-190|
|Mattia De Sciglio||26||D (RL)|
|Adrien Rabiot||24||M (C)||DLP||Support||3 Star||152/164|
|Aaron Ramsey||28||M (C)|
|Federico Bernardeschi||25||M (R)|
|Mario Mandzukic||33||AM (L)|
|Daniele Rugani||24||D (C)||BPD||Defend||2.5 Star||147/159|
|Merih Demiral||21||D (C)||CD||Defend||2.5 Star||143/159|
|Juan Cuadrado||31||D (R)|
|Emre Can||25||D (C)|
|Marko Pjaca||24||M (L)|
|Douglas Costa||28||M (RL)|