Juventus take on Atalanta twice in the next five days, both times at the Allianz Stadium. Tomorrow’s clash is in the League while Wednesday’s game is the second leg of the Coppa Italia semi final, the first of which Juve won 1-0 away.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri started off with an injury update concering Federico Bernardeschi who will miss tomorrow’s game.
“Bernardeschi will be revaluated in 20 days.
“If by that time the conservative treatment has not had the desired effect, we’ll see if he needs an operation. Unfortunately, that is the situation with Federico.”
He also added information on Gonzalo Higuain, who also left the Derby della Mole win last weekend with an injury.
“Higuain got this knock to the ankle last week, he hasn’t trained since and only worked separately from the squad, so it’s very unlikely he’ll be able to play tomorrow.
“Blaise Matuidi and Mario Mandzukic are available. Mattia De Sciglio has a problem with his adductor muscle and will be re-evaluated next week. Juan Cuadrado is working, but still a long way off his comeback.”
Paulo Dybala has returned to action though in what must be a big relief for the Bianconeri.
“I tried him out as a centre-forward yesterday, but I need to evaluate it, because we’ve got four games coming up: tomorrow, then Wednesday in the Coppa Italia, Saturday Lazio and the following Wednesday Tottenham.
“It’s unthinkable that Dybala could be ready after 40-45 days out to play 90 minutes in all three games. He played around half-a-hour against Torino, so it’s about finding the right fitness levels in a decisive moment of the season.”
Speaking about the lineup for tomorrow -
“Tomorrow we’ll certainly start Matuidi and Miralem Pjanic, then will decide between Stefano Sturaro, Claudio Marchisio or Rodrigo Bentancur.
“Gigi Buffon and Stephan Lichtsteiner start tomorrow, with either Daniele Rugani or Medhi Benatia.”
Gian Piero Gasperini and his side were eliminated from the Europa League midweek in a close two-legged tie against Borussia Dortmund.
“I compliment Atalanta on the way they faced that tournament. It’s a pity they went out, as did Napoli, because Italian sides should always try to go forward in Europe.
“They’ll be eager to make up for it straight away and on Wednesday, like us, they’ll be fired up to reach the Coppa Italia Final. Atalanta are a very physical side who play good football and it’s the first game in a very important run of fixtures.”