Cristiano Ronaldo will not be rested ahead of Juventus’ Serie A clash with fellow title contenders Napoli at the weekend, Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed.
Juve will be able to count on Ronaldo when they aim to extend their 100 per cent start to their Scudetto defence against Bologna at the Allianz Stadium on Wednesday.
The Portugal forward, who was not in attendance as Luka Modric dethroned him as the FIFA Best Men’s Player in London on Monday, endured a slow start to life in Turin but has scored three goals in his last two league outings.
A red card in the 2-0 Champions League win at Valencia last week means Ronaldo will be unavailable for the visit of Young Boys next Tuesday, three days after they host to Napoli.
Consequently, Allegri is happy to demand more from Ronaldo this week to ensure Juve retain their three-point advantage over Carlo Ancelotti’s side before they clash in Serie A.
“Cristiano will play. He’s in great shape physically and will be getting more minutes under his belt because he won’t be available in the Champions League next week,” said Allegri.
“We cannot take the game against Bologna lightly. [Filippo] Inzaghi is very good at organising them and proved it by beating Roma.
“We have to win to get to the match against Napoli with a three-point advantage.”
@OfficialAllegri: “@Cristiano will be playing tomorrow. He’s in great shape physically and will be getting more minutes under his belt now, as he won’t be available next week vs Young Boys.”#JuveBologna pic.twitter.com/5adUfudaqI
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) September 25, 2018
However, Allegri confirmed there would be rotation elsewhere in the squad, with goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny, captain Giorgio Chiellini and Mario Mandzukic unlikely to start.
“[Paulo] Dybala will play, he needs to. He played well against Frosinone and people only look at his goals, but that’s not fair. He’s in good shape,” he said.
“Mandzukic will probably be rested, so [Moise] Kean may feature in attack. I had planned to use him against Frosinone.
“[Rodrigo] Bentancur has a strong chance of playing, but he needs to be more assured. He has great technical attributes and he has to start providing some goals and assists.
“[Blaise] Matuidi will be back in the line-up and I’ll choose between [Miralem] Pjanic and Emre Can. [Mattia] Perin will start in goal and Chiellini will be rested. I need to decide which of the full-backs need a break too.
“[Andrea] Barzagli has made a full recovery and is available.”
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