We’ve reached the inevitable part of the season where each ‘Bad News’ section of every match preview on this here website is starting to easily outweigh the good news. And as history tells us, it’s not necessarily because Juve’s post-international break form isn’t all that wonderful. It’s mostly because players are getting injured on a regular basis — and things aren’t exactly getting any better heading into Wednesday’s big Champions League fixture.
The Sunday practice report from Juve’s official website:
As usual after a matchday, the team were split into two groups, with those who took to the field taking part in a recovery session, whilst the rest of the players trained out on the pitch.
Douglas Costa underwent physiotherapy treatments for a muscular problem in his left adductors, and also Blaise Matuidi for a bruise sustained on his right hip yesterday.
Giorgio Chiellini and Federico Bernardeschi continued their personalised programmes, whilst Mario Mandzukic, who was absent yesterday due to the recurrence of an ankle problem also partially trained with the team.
OK, so this is pretty much in line with what Max Allegri told us after Saturday’s 3-1 win over Cagliari, one where Mandzukic was thought to be returning in and Costa was forced to be subbed off at halftime with his newfound ailment.
As Allegri pointed out after the Cagliari win, he expects Chiellini and Bernardeschi to be good to go for the Manchester United game, one where Juve needs to get all of one point to wrap up their spot in the Champions League knockout rounds. The question marks, by a process of elimination, are both Costa and Mandzukic.
In terms of Matuidi, who knows. This is an injury that Max didn’t tell us about and seeing as he played a full 90 minutes, things seemed pretty normal without any kind of issues. And unless this bruise is something super serious and prevents him from running or anything like that, I’d be very surprised if Matuidi wasn’t available off the bench at the very least on Wednesday night.