In theory Juventus line up 1-4-4-2, but Massimiliano Allegri only aims for this shape defensively. Attacking Juventus always adapt to the way the opponent defends.
Playmaking deep the central defenders use the goalkeeper as an additional passing option. Allegri encourages the side defenders and strikers to take up higher positions, hence we often see Juventus building an attack in a 1-2-4-4 formation in the first phase of the attack. In this phase the false forwards (Dybala) often goes deep to provide a combination option to play under pressure. This allows him to break free from the pressure of the defenders and find some free space between the lines. The wide positioning and support of the side defenders makes it easier for them not only to play the ball, but also to move the ball from the defensive to the offensive third. As part of this playmaking scheme Juventus use a large rotation of positions, which includes the frequent sight of one of the wingers entering the striker’s position, the central midfielder then filling his place on the wing, while on the other wing a manoeuvre of forward and centre movement is underway: the side defender comes up high and the winger goes down to the centre. This allows one of the strikers to seek space deeper and sometimes even act as a playmaker. Depending on the positioning of the other side defender these moves result in a 1-2-3-5 or 1-3-2-5 attacking formation in the final phase.
Allegri’s long-standing preference is for organised defending and discipline, so Juventus rarely press high and the somewhat restrained defensive block only shows aggression and quickness in their own half of the pitch. A strong defensive midfield forces rivals outside into wide areas, where doubling allows them to defend effectively against crosses or combination play.
In some parts of play without the ball Juventus create a five defenders in a line: setting up a back three with defensively positioned wingers. Pressing in the second line is then provided by three central midfielders positioned narrowly in a compact block. The higher pressing of the central defenders ensures that the centre is overloaded and forces the opponent to have wide possession of the ball, which also frees up one of the central defender for individual duties. This is the case, for example, with an opponent using a defensive midfielder to go higher up while the ball is being played, so Juventus can mark such a player one-on-one and make it difficult for rivals to control the tempo of play.
They base most of their actions in the offensive third on the movement of the two strikers and the rotations of their positions with the wingers. In almost every match, depending on the positioning of the rivals, it is one of the strikers who is the main source of goals, while the other supports him by reloading the half-spaces, creating an additional passing option for the midfielders or moving between the lines. In another variant the advanced forward (Vlahovic, Morata) absorbs the defenders and gives Allegri’s team a target man to which his partners constantly direct play. This striker is not only an excellent target for passes, but also allows to slow down the tempo and allow the parners to get into better positions. Using then more direct passes the deeper positioned partners (Dybala, Locatelli, Rabiot) have more space to make vertical entries into the penalty area.