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AC Milan’s Pioli prioritizes tactical balance, benches Chukwueze in Juventus clash

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AC Milan’s head coach Stefano Pioli made a strategic decision to bench Samuel Chukwueze during their recent 0-0 draw against Juventus, surprising many fans and pundits alike.

Chukwueze, the Nigerian striker, had been in exceptional form for the Rossoneri in recent weeks, with a notable performance against Lecce on April 6, where he scored a goal and provided an assist.

Despite his contributions, Pioli opted to leave him out of the starting lineup against Juventus, a move that sparked speculation and debate among supporters.

Explaining his decision, Pioli emphasized the importance of bolstering the midfield to counter Juventus’s formidable presence.

The Italian coach prioritized tactical solidity over offensive flair, leading to Chukwueze’s omission from the starting eleven.

“I preferred Pulisic (against Juventus). Chukwueze is also very good, but at the moment I don’t want to give up an extra midfielder to play with 4 attacking players and therefore Chukwueze is the one who is sacrificed the most at the moment,” Pioli clarified.

While Pioli’s choice to bench Chukwueze may have raised eyebrows, it underscores his commitment to tactical flexibility and team cohesion.

By opting for a more conservative approach against a strong opponent like Juventus, Pioli aimed to mitigate defensive vulnerabilities while maintaining a compact midfield structure.

Chukwueze, who joined AC Milan from Villarreal last summer, has showcased glimpses of his talent throughout the season, featuring in 22 Serie A matches, with 10 starts to his name.

Despite his limited playing time, he has contributed a goal and two assists, demonstrating his potential impact on the pitch.

As AC Milan approaches the culmination of the season, Pioli’s strategic decisions will continue to shape the team’s performance, with Chukwueze poised to play a vital role in their quest for success both domestically and in Europe.

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Ibrahim Sannie
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Ibrahim Sannie

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