De­pleted Ju­ven­tus set to reshuf­fle for City visit

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

MILAN: Ju­ven­tus are preparing to do with­out Sami Khedira, Pa­trice Evra and Her­nanes when they host Manch­ester City tomorrow look­ing to clinch their place in the last 16 of the Cham­pi­ons League. Serie A cham­pi­ons Ju­ven­tus claimed a third con­sec­u­tive win in Italy’s top flight for the first time this sea­son with a 1-0 win over AC Milan in Turin on Satur­day.

But the vic­tory came at a price, France in­ter­na­tional Evra hob­bling off with an an­kle in­jury and Brazil mid­fielder Her­nanes-who is al­ready sus­pended for Wed­nes­day-suf­fer­ing a thigh “mus­cle prob­lem”, ac­cord­ing to the club.

Khedira did not even make Mas­si­m­il­iano Al­le­gri’s match­day squad af­ter a scar from a re­cent thigh in­jury flared up while he was on in­ter­na­tional duty with Ger­many.

Re­ports say Khedira will “train apart” from the rest of the squad this week and is definitely side­lined for the visit of Group D lead­ers City, who qual­i­fied for the last 16 with a 3-1 win away to Sevilla last time out.

Evra, mean­while, is set for fit­ness tests on Mon­day and Tues­day on his left an­kle. Alex San­dro is the log­i­cal re­place­ment, but the Brazil­ian has been used spar­ingly so far and Al­le­gri may opt to tin­ker with his for­ma­tion in­stead.

Also miss­ing through in­jury is Roberto Pereyra, Kwadwo Asamoah and Si­mone Padoin, while Uruguayan mid­fielder Martin Cac­eres is also set for a late fit­ness test on a right thigh prob­lem.

The ab­sences should see on-loan Chelsea for­ward Juan Cuadrado start for the Bian­coneri, while Al­le­gri has yet to de­cide whether Paulo Dy­bala-who hit Juve’s win­ner on Satur­day-or Mario Mandzu­kic will part­ner Al­varo Mo­rata up front.

Mo­rata was the hero ear­lier this sea­son when Ju­ven­tus eclipsed their poor league form to stun City 2-1 at the City of Manch­ester sta­dium and will again be look­ing to put Manuel Pel­le­grini’s men to the sword.

Mo­rata equalled a club record, set by for­mer Juve great Alessan­dro Del Piero, when he scored for the fifth time con­sec­u­tively in a Cham­pi­ons League game dur­ing Juve’s 2-0 win over Sevilla last month-narowly miss­ing on making the record his own when he then missed a great chance in a score­less draw against Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach.

Ju­ven­tus will qual­ify for the knock­out phase with a win, or with any re­sult if Sevilla do not beat Borus­sia Monchenglad­bach on Wed­nes­day.

City, stunned 4-1 at home by Liver­pool at the week­end, will clinch first place in the group with vic­tory in Turin. — AFP

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