Juventus forward, Paulo Dybala is unlikely to be fit for tonight’s Champions League round of 16 game against Olympique Lyonnais.
The Ligue 1 side had won the first leg of the encounter 1-0 in France back in February. So, all the Bianconeri need is to score two clear goals and proceed to the next round.
Dybala is a big doubt for the clash because he sustained a muscular injury against Sampdoria 11 days ago. The Argentine, who recently won the Most Valuable Player of the season in Serie A has not been able to train either, which rules him out of the game.
Who are the likely players to replace Paulo Dybala?
With the absence of Dybala, Maurizio Sarri is left with the option of Gonzalo Higuain, who recently returned to action after being on the treatment table and utility man Juan Cuadrado.
Sarri already has other selection headaches because Douglas Costa, Mattia De Sciglio, and Sami Khedira are also out of action due to injuries.
This gives Higuain, Dyabal’s fellow Argentine the opportunity to form a trident attacking partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo and Cuadrado. The center-forward is expected to start from the middle while Ronaldo and Cuadrado play from the flanks.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of the game, Sarri said the Colombian utility player would start, but not necessarily in which role. Cuadrado can slot in as a right-back or on the right side of a trident attack.
In case Cuadrado is chosen in defence, that gives Federico Bernardeschi the nod as he is the natural remaining pick upfront.
Adrien Rabiot, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Miralem Pjanic are expected to be the three-man midfield selection for the game as well.
In the defense, Sarri is expected to line up a four-man partnership that includes Danilo, Matthijs De Ligt, Leonardo Bonucci, and Alex Sandro to cover up for the Serie A goalkeeper of the year, Wojciech Szczesny.
The clash will be kicking of 19:00 UK time.