Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri is contemplating starting Paulo Dybala from the substitutes’ bench for this weekend’s trip to Palermo.
The Italian champions thumped Cagliari 4-0 on Wednesday to move back to the top of Serie A having suffered defeat to Inter in their previous outing.
Dybala started in attack alongside Gonzalo Higuain against Cagliari but was unable to score, making it six appearances in all competitions without a goal in 2016-17.
Allegri is unsurprised to see the 22-year-old – who scored 19 league goals last season – find it harder in his second campaign with Juve and is considering starting him from the bench for the trip to play his former club Palermo.
“Dybala could start from the bench tomorrow but don’t take that as written,” Allegri said at his pre-match media conference.
“After a year here growing, now it is now more difficult for him. He is having good games but has more attention from opponents – they know him now.
“He is playing well at the moment. The only thing that is missing is a goal.
“He must stay calm. He has played a lot of matches and could start on the bench.”
Juve’s match with Palermo is the first of three away games in eight days that also sees them play Dinamo Zagreb and Empoli.
Giorgio Chiellini – the only centre-back to keep his place against Cagliari following the loss to Inter – is another who is set to be left out ahead to remain fresh during the busy schedule.
Allegri added: “Rotating the squad is important but you must always base your XI on the individual merits of each match.
“Chiellini will be rested while Hernanes is in the frame for another starting place.
“There are no problems with Gianluigi Buffon [after coming off at half-time against Cagliari]. He will be back for Palermo.
“Juan Cuadrado was granted permission to go home for personal reasons on Wednesday but he is available. He won’t start but will be very useful from the substitutes’ bench as the game goes on.
“Playing three away matches in a row is not ideal, but we won’t take anything less than a win in Palermo.”