Just when you thought he was back, Angel Di Maria will be out of the lineup again.
But unlike the last couple of times in which Di Maria has been forced to miss time this season, it’s not because of injury. This time — no pun intended — it’s very much a self-inflicted wound.
It was announced Tuesday that the 34-year-old Di Maria has been suspended two games for his straight red that he was shown in the first half of Juventus’ 1-0 loss to Monza on Sunday. That means Di Maria — who has had several short spells on the sidelines due to muscle injuries already — will miss the first two games out of the international break against Bologna and more notably the first trip to the San Siro when Juve faces AC Milan on Oct. 8.
Good times, right? A shorthanded squad is now without one of its few creative sources for one of the most important games of the season.
It’s not necessarily a surprise to see Di Maria get more than a one-game suspension for his red card considering the manner of which it came about. There was clear intent, and no matter how much of a pest Armando Izzo may be, that kind of act just simply isn’t warranted or proactive when you take into account how much Juve wilted once the Argentine winger was sent off on Sunday.
So now, desperately in need of something to go right and points, Juve will go into its biggest domestic game of the season to date without Di Maria (and whoever else will be out injured at that point). That’s just not helping matters at all, is it?