Juventus will be heading to Germany on Tuesday afternoon. However, the best beard in all of Europe won't be a part of the Bianconeri's traveling party.
Juventus confirmed on Monday that Andrea Pirlo, who was injured in the first leg of Juve's Champions League Round of 16 clash against Borussia Dortmund back in February, has not regained full fitness ahead of the trip to Germany. It was always going to be a race against time, and Pirlo, despite his best efforts to get fully fit for the return leg. The original diagnosis for Pirlo, which was about a three-week stint on the sidelines, was going to push things to the limit when it came to his availability for the second leg.
Andrea Pirlo also conducted tests today and, despite the good progress made after picking up a thigh injury in last month's first leg against Dortmund, Wednesday's game will come too soon for the midfielder. He will therefore remain in Turin to continue his individual rehabilitation regime.
On Monday morning, the Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Juventus manager Max Allegri is 'seriously considering' using a 3-5-2 formation against Dortmund on Wednesday night. That choice, however, apparently had nothing to do with Pirlo's ability to recover full fitness in time for the second leg, more with the fact that defender Andrea Barzagli is healthy and available for selection once again.
So now, it's pretty easy to figure out who's playing where — no matter what formation will be used — from the opening whistle (barring any other sudden injury developments): Claudio Marchisio as the man in the center of Juve's midfield instead of Pirlo, with Paul Pogba and Arturo Vidal flanking Il Principino on either side.
Against a team like Dortmund who will obviously be looking to flip that 2-1 aggregate scoreline in their favor, having those three guys playing in the center of the midfield isn't the worst thing in the world, that's for sure.
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