The hope of Juventus star, Cristiano Ronaldo playing against Barcelona in the Champions League tonight has been dashed after he is yet to recover from COVID-19.
Once the result turns out negative, it is believed that the Turin giant can’t wait to start him in what is expected to be a resumption of rivalry between him and Barcelona talisman, Lionel Messi. But it seems Ronaldo will have to now wait till he recovers hopefully for the second leg of the affair at the Camp Nou.
Football Italia reports that the 35-year-old, who has been self-isolating since testing positive for the virus on 13 October. He had further set back last week as he recorded another positive result.
The Italian media also confirmed that his latest result returned negative last night, which automatically rule him out of tonight’s encounter.
Juventus is yet to make a formal statement on the latest COVID-19 tests but the Portuguese was not sighted at the training ground.
Meanwhile, Barcelona has landed in Turin ahead of the clash and they were welcomed by about 100 supporters, who weren’t wearing masks.
📍 Turin— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 27, 2020
🔜 #JuveBarça pic.twitter.com/UerwR4jMog
Juventus team news ahead of Barcelona clash without Ronaldo and Chiellini
The Bianconerri will be training this morning at the Continassa and Leonardo Bonucci might not join his teammates for the training session due to injury.
But he could be passed fit after further examinations later today. If he fails the fitness test, Andrea Pirlo might draft in Danilo as his replacement will start alongside Merih Demiral.
Ronaldo, and Giorgio Chiellini won’t be available for selection. Ronaldo last played on October 11 during the international break for Portugal in the 0-0 draw with France.
Juventus will also be without Matthijs de Ligt as Bonucci and Paulo Dybala will both be assessed for the game in Turin.
Juventus, who won the competition during the 1995-96 season opened their campaign with a 2-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv.
Barcelona on the other hand will be without the service of Philippe Coutinho, who injured his left hamstring in Saturday’s 3-1 El Clasico defeat against Real Madrid.
⚪⚫𝙐𝙉𝙊 𝙎𝙋𝙀𝙏𝙏𝘼𝘾𝙊𝙇𝙊 𝙐𝙉𝙄𝘾𝙊 ! 🔵🔴— JuventusFC (@juventusfc) October 28, 2020
🏟 Allianz Stadium
📲 #JuveBarça #JuveUCL pic.twitter.com/aC7xVssY1p
Gerard Pique is also out of the clash after collecting red card in the win against Ferencvaros and coach Ronald Koeman is expected to replace him with Araujo.
The Catalans starting line up is unlikely to change from what they used against Real Madrid during last weekend’s El Classico, as Miralem Pjanic could get the go ahead against his former teammates.
Ousmane Dembele and Antoine Griezmann could start against the Old Lady in Turin.
Pirlo could play four at the back
Meanwhile, Pirlo could try to play four at the back, expectedly with Juan Cuadrado and Frabotta as full-backs.
If fit, Dybala should start with Alvaro Morata in the absence of Ronaldo.
Juventus (probable): Szczesny; Danilo, Bonucci, Demiral; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Ramsey; Dybala, Morata
Barcelona (probable): Neto; Sergi Roberto, Araujo, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Pjanic, De Jong; Dembele, Griezmann, Ansu Fati; Messi