Going into the weekend, we knew at least one key Juventus player was going to be in a race for full fitness to be ready for Barcelona. Now, as we come out of the weekend, the same can be said for another one of Max Allegri’s starting lineup mainstays.
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport on Monday morning, both Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini and striker-turned-winger Mario Mandzukic are both in doubt for Tuesday night’s Champions League group stage opener against Barcelona, while Sami Khedira’s international duty-related knee injury will see him miss out on the trip to Spain. The first one is what we pretty much expected, but after Mandzukic picked up a knock in the final minutes of Juve’s 3-0 win over Chievo on Saturday, we have another one to add to the injury list.
The good thing, however, is both the Gazzetta and Tuttosport are reporting that Chiellini will be training with the group on Monday in the team’s final training session before they depart for Barcelona later in the day.
That obviously doesn’t mean Chiellini will be good to go for Tuesday — and it’s not like he never rushes back from injuries and subsequently gets inured again ... oh wait — but it’s at least something of a positive note. I think?
And let’s say that Mandzukic is good to go for Barcelona. What about the other wing? It has to be one of Federico Bernardeschi or Douglas Costa, right?
Sturaro is the favorite to start over Bernardeschi & Douglas Costa. (GdS)— Khaled Al Nouss (@khaledalnouss1) September 11, 2017
Oh no. OH NO OH NO OH NO. If that’s the case, I’ll take Juan Cuadrado any day of the week! Stefano Sturaro. As a right winger. Against Barcelona. In the Champions League. Come on, man.