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Reports: Adrien Rabiot set to miss Juventus’ game against Empoli

If you were hoping for Juve’s manbun’d Frenchman to make his return to the starting lineup this weekend, you’ll have to wait a little while longer.

Juventus v US Sassuolo - Serie A TIM Photo by sportinfoto/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

If Juventus were hoping for a fitness boost when it comes to one of their most important players in the game before the big showdown at the San Siro next month, it doesn’t look like that will be happening.

According to reports from Goal italia’s Romeo Agresti and Tuttosport on Tuesday, Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot will miss his second consecutive game and third in the last four in all competitions when the Serie A-leading Bianconeri host Empoli at the Allianz Stadium this Saturday evening. Rabiot missed last Sunday’s 3-0 win over Lecce with a calf injur, with Juventus not giving any kind of timetable in terms of how long he could be out for or if he’s t risk of missing out on the trip to the San Siro to face Inter in less than two weeks.

Which, considering he’s going to be out on Saturday, either means that he’s a doubt for Inter or Juve are just choosing to play it super safe knowing that Inter’s next up on the schedule after facing Empoli.

Another one of Juve’s injured stars, Federico Chiesa, is considered day-to-day with his ongoing knee troubles that have seen him be in and out of the matchday squad for the last month.

Unless Max Allegri decides to field somebody like Andrea Cambiaso as a makeshift central midfielder, then we’re likely seeing the same midfield that was deployed against Lecce over the weekend, with Fabio Miretti filling in for Rabiot on the left of Manuel Locatelli. For some, that’s something that will lead to bad thoughts and grumpy feelings, while for others seeing Miretti get more playing time is not the worst thing in the world if Rabiot is going to miss more time due to injury.

Obviously, the big thing here is if Juve will have Rabiot — who has played the second-most amount of minutes of any outfield player in bianconero this season with 1,620 — when they make the trip to Milan to face Inter on Sunday, Feb. 4. If Juve get the win over Empoli they will guarantee themselves of having the lead atop the Serie A table when they head to the San Siro. Inter — who collected the Supercoppa with a win over Napoli on Monday night — face Fiorentina on Sunday and could be looking at a four-point deficit if Juve beat Empoli.

Now let’s just hope that the absence of Rabiot (and Chiesa) only lasts into this weekend and he is able to reclaim his spot in the starting lineup heading into the biggest domestic game that Juve have played in probably a couple of seasons at the very least.