Allegri allays Higuain injury fears ahead of key fixtures

The Argentina international was withdrawn early on during the Bianconeri’s derby win over Torino, but his manager insists his problem is not serious

Juventus star Gonzalo Higuain was substituted just 15 minutes into a 1-0 win over Torino on Sunday, but did not suffer a serious injury, according to coach Massimiliano Allegri.

Higuain was replaced by Federico Bernardeschi early in the Derby della Mole at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, an apparent ankle problem prompting fears over the future availability of the Argentina striker.

Bernardeschi was also withdrawn in injury time, but Allegri does not expect either player to spend a significant period of time on the sidelines.

“Starting Wednesday we’ll regroup with everyone available, but in any event the team is feeling well and they showed it today.”

Juve host Atalanta in successive Serie A and Coppa Italia matches before visiting Lazio in the league, as they build towards the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 tie against Tottenham on 7 March.

Spurs rallied from falling 2-0 down within nine minutes at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday to earn a 2-2 draw, leaving the Scudetto holders with a tough task to progress to the quarter-finals when they visit Wembley next month.

Source: www.goal.com

Juventus vs Tottenham:

Mauricio Pochettino’s men make the journey to Turin where they will hope to establish a lead in the fight for a place in the quarter-finals

Tottenham resume Champions League action on Tuesday as they travel to Italy to take on Juventus in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Both sides come into the clash in buoyant form, with Spurs boosted by a derby victory over Arsenal at Wembley over the weekend.

Juventus, meanwhile, have been playing with a ruthlessness that was lacking in their early-season displays and they have not lost a game since last November.

 

Squads & Team News

 


Position Juventus players
Goalkeepers Buffon, Pinsoglio, Szczesny
Defenders De Sciglio, Chiellini, Benatia, Sandro, Barzagli, Rugani, Lichtsteiner
Midfielders Pjanic, Khedira, Cuadrado, Marchisio, Costa, Matuidi, Asamoah, Sturaro, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Merio, Caligara
Forwards Higuain, Dybala, Mandzukic

Juventus are expected to be without a number of key players for the visit of Spurs with Paulo Dybala, Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi among those carrying injuries. Stephan Lichtsteiner has also been ruled out, while the injured Benedikt Howedes is not in the Champions League squad.

Andrea Barzagli is also a doubt and the defender trained separately to the rest of the squad ahead of the game.

Potential Juventus starting XI: Buffon; Rugani, Chiellini, Benatia, Sandro; Marchisio, Pjanic, Khedira; Bernardeschi, Higuain, Mandzukic.

Position Tottenham players
Goalkeepers Lloris, Vorm, Gazzaniga, Whiteman
Defenders Trippier, Rose, Alderweireld, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Aurier, Davies, Walker-Peters
Midfielders Lamela, Wanyama, Dier, Sissoko, Dembele, Alli, Eriksen, Lucas, Winks, Georgiou, Oakley-Boothe
Forwards Son, Kane, Llorente, Sterling

Toby Alderweireld will sit out the game against Juventus as he works to regain full fitness following injury, as will Kyle Walker-Peters.

Juan Foyth and Georges-Kevin N’Koudou are not part of the club’s Champions League panel, but Pochettino has an otherwise full selection to choose from.

Potential Tottenham starting XI: Lloris; Trippier, Vertonghen, Sanchez, Davies; Dembele, Dier, Eriksen, Alli, Son; Kane.

Tottenham’s Champions League exploits this season have forced the rest of Europe to sit up and take notice. Convincing victories over Borussia Dortmund and reigning champions Real Madrid have shown that the Premier League outfit belong at that level and they will be eager to extend their foray into the competition.

Central to any success they might have in the competition will be the likes of Harry Kane, who has surged out in front in the race for the European Golden Shoe, and his supporting cast of Christian Eriksen, Dele Alli and Heung-Min Son. In those individuals, Pochettino has forged a mesmerising front-four and they are undoubtedly a match for the continent’s elite.

Similarly to Spurs, Juventus have recovered from a wobbly start to the season to surge back into the reckoning domestically and they come into the last-16 match with a 16-game unbeaten streak under their belts. Perhaps even more remarkable is the fact that Massimiliano Allegri’s side have conceded just once in that period and they have won their last 11 games.

Therefore, the encounter between Juve and Spurs is essentially a showdown between Europe’s best strike-force and its best defence – the unstoppable force meeting the immovable object. That would suggest that they will cancel each other out, but, knock-out matches are anything but predictable.

With nearly a month to wait for the second leg – on March 7 – both sides will be doing everything they can to lay down an early marker as they look to ensure their place among the last eight of Europe’s elite.

Dybala to miss out on Tottenham Champions League clash for Juventus

There had been hope that the striker would face Tottenham, but the Argentina forward will miss out on the last-16 tie

Paulo Dybala has failed to recover from a hamstring injury in time for Juventus’ Champions League round-of-16 tie against Tottenham.

There had been reports the Argentina star may be on the bench for the first leg at Juventus Stadium on Tuesday having taken part in training on Monday.

However, the forward was not included in Juve’s squad, which was announced before head coach Massimiliano Allegri addressed the media for his pre-match news conference.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino had been speaking about the quality of Dybala in his own media briefing before Juve released their squad.

“Obviously, Paulo Dybala is a great player who knows how to make the difference,” he said of his Argentine compatriot.

“As you know, however, Juve have quality players like Federico Bernardeschi and many others.

“We want to compete with them, we’ll see what happens.”

Dybala’s last appearance came in Juve’s 1-0 win at Cagliari on January 6.

Experienced wing-back Stephan Lichtsteiner was also excluded due to a problem with his left thigh. Source: www.goal.com

‘Tottenham star Kane was too chubby for Arsenal!’

The Gunners have been left to rue their decision to part with a striker who has gone on to star for their fierce north London rivals

Harry Kane was released by Arsenal for being “chubby”, Liam Brady has revealed, with the Gunners acknowledging that they were “wrong”.

Kane, who is now starring for north London rivals Tottenham and set to captain England at the 2018 World Cup, was on the Gunners’ books at the age of eight.

He was, however, to be shown the door, leaving him with a chip on his shoulder that made him all the more determined to prove his worth.

Two Golden Boots and more than 100 Premier League goals have seen him do just that, with a former Director of the Arsenal Youth Academy conceding that a poor judgement call was made on Kane in his younger years.

Brady told Corriere della Sera: “He was chubby, not very athletic and we were wrong.

“But even Tottenham loaned him three or four times to teams in the lower divisions. But with his determination, he is building a great career. And he deserves it.”

Kane is now considered to be not just a leading light of the English top-flight, but a striker who enjoys a standing alongside the great and good of the global game.

“That boy has a character that drives him to always improve,” added Brady.

“After [Lionel] Messi, [Cristiano] Ronaldo and [Robert] Lewandowski there is him. The numbers say it. And he’s only 24 years old.”

Kane will be looking to cement such a standing in his next outing for Spurs, as he prepares to grace a Champions League stage once more.

Serie A giants Juventus block Tottenham’s European path in the last 16, but former Bianconeri star Brady believes Mauricio Pochettino’s side should enter the contest with no fear.

He said: “Juve are not favourites, it’s 50-50.

“Tottenham are well organised, they have a good coach and three great forwards in [Christian] Eriksen, [Dele] Alli and Kane. You need to stop them in midfield to prevent those three from hurting you.

“Does Juve’s attack convince me? Not completely, because I think we’ve already seen the best of [Gonzalo] Higuain. It’s hard for him to make the difference in Europe, he’s too static.”

Napoli vs Juventus

Napoli vs Juventus Preview

Napoli hosts third-placed Juventus in what has been dubbed as a possible  title-decider in the Seria A this season. Having certainly made a good start to the current campaign, Maurizio Sarri’s men sit four-points above the Old Ladies in first place.

Juventus, however, will take confidence  from the fact that despite Napoli enjoying a good run of form in the league, they seem vurnerable having been beaten in other competitions. A win for the Turin outfit will reduce the point gap to just one.

Serie A

Standing

# Team MP W D L F A G P
1 Milan 19 13 4 2 39 22 +17 43
2 Inter Milan 19 12 5 2 45 23 +22 41
3 Roma 19 11 4 4 41 32 +9 37
4 Juventus 18 10 6 2 37 18 +19 36
5 Atalanta 19 10 6 3 44 23 +21 36
6 SSC Napoli 18 11 1 6 41 19 +22 34
7 Lazio 19 10 4 5 32 26 +6 34
8 Hellas Verona 19 8 6 5 25 18 +7 30
9 Sassuolo 19 8 6 5 32 29 +3 30
10 Sampdoria 19 8 2 9 30 29 +1 26
11 Benevento 19 6 4 9 23 36 -13 22
12 Fiorentina 19 5 6 8 20 30 -10 21
13 Bologna 19 5 5 9 24 33 -9 20
14 Udinese 19 4 6 9 20 28 -8 18
15 Spezia 19 4 6 9 26 36 -10 18
16 Genoa 19 4 6 9 19 30 -11 18
17 Torino 19 2 8 9 28 37 -9 14
18 Cagliari 19 3 5 11 23 37 -14 14
19 Parma 19 2 7 10 14 36 -22 13
20 Crotone 19 3 3 13 22 43 -21 12

Juventus vs Crotone

Juventus vs Crotone

Here is how both clubs are expected to line up:

Juventus vs Crotone

Serie A

Standing

# Team MP W D L F A G P
1 Milan 19 13 4 2 39 22 +17 43
2 Inter Milan 19 12 5 2 45 23 +22 41
3 Roma 19 11 4 4 41 32 +9 37
4 Juventus 18 10 6 2 37 18 +19 36
5 Atalanta 19 10 6 3 44 23 +21 36
6 SSC Napoli 18 11 1 6 41 19 +22 34
7 Lazio 19 10 4 5 32 26 +6 34
8 Hellas Verona 19 8 6 5 25 18 +7 30
9 Sassuolo 19 8 6 5 32 29 +3 30
10 Sampdoria 19 8 2 9 30 29 +1 26
11 Benevento 19 6 4 9 23 36 -13 22
12 Fiorentina 19 5 6 8 20 30 -10 21
13 Bologna 19 5 5 9 24 33 -9 20
14 Udinese 19 4 6 9 20 28 -8 18
15 Spezia 19 4 6 9 26 36 -10 18
16 Genoa 19 4 6 9 19 30 -11 18
17 Torino 19 2 8 9 28 37 -9 14
18 Cagliari 19 3 5 11 23 37 -14 14
19 Parma 19 2 7 10 14 36 -22 13
20 Crotone 19 3 3 13 22 43 -21 12