Massimiliano Allegri has revealed Leonardo Bonucci will miss Juventus’ Serie A match against Lazio, while Gonzalo Higuain will stay on the substitutes’ bench.
The Italian champions opened their league campaign with a 2-1 win over Fiorentina and are now set to travel to the capital to face Lazio on Saturday.
Key defender Bonucci will not play for what head coach Allegri described as “personal reasons”, while he also confirmed Simone Zaza is on the brink of joining West Ham and that Luca Marrone was also set to leave Juve.
Allegri said: “I will start first with those who are not called up. Those are Zaza, who is in London and has the possibility of going to West Ham, Marrone, who is another player on the way out, and Bonucci for personal reason
“We will be starting the game with three at the back and Bonucci will be replaced by Daniele Rugani or Medhi Benatia.
“It is great to have Kwadwo Asamoah back in the squad. He is an important player for us and possesses great personality and technique.”
Higuain came off the bench to score the winner on his debut against Fiorentina, but he will not start the match with Mario Mandzukic continuing to partner Paulo Dybala for what the head coach thinks will be a testing contest.
Allegri added: “Higuain will be on the bench and Mandzukic starts. Higuain is doing really well – he is very close to top condition but in the past two days he has had to slow down a bit because he has had a little strain.
“My selection dilemma for the game is who will play in front of the defence – Mario Lemina or Miralem Pjanic. Pjanic is in reasonably good condition now but I will make a choice depending on the game.
“Lazio are playing very well. They won a nice game with Atalanta – Bergamo is always a tough place to go – by scoring four goals and showing good condition.
“They will be up there challenging for the top spots this season. They have kept the bulk of last season’s squad together and added some talented youngsters.
“It will be a very difficult match but we have to do everything to bring home the three points. That is a must.”