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Dybala in, Bonucci out for Villarreal decider, says Juve's Allegri

Dybala in, Bonucci out for Villarreal decider, says Juve's Allegri

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Serie A - Atalanta v Juventus - Stadio Atleti Azzurri, Bergamo, Italy - February 13, 2022 Juventus' Paulo Dybala during the warm up before the match REUTERS/Alessandro Garofalo

Juventus forward Paulo Dybala is fit to face Spain's Villarreal in the Champions League on Wednesday but defender Leonardo Bonucci is still sidelined, the Italian side's manager Massimiliano Allegri said on Tuesday.

Dybala, who has not played since mid-February due to a thigh injury, will make his comeback in the second leg of their last-16 tie, which is poised at 1-1 after the first leg in Spain.

Defender Giorgio Chiellini (calf) and winger Federico Bernardeschi (groin) are also expected to feature after recovering from their injuries.

"Chiellini will be available, Dybala and Bernardeschi, who are important, will also be available again," Allegri told a news conference.

"If we don't make it in the 90 minutes, there will be 120 minutes to be played. This is a long time so everyone will be decisive. Dybala, Chiellini and Bernardeschi don't have 90 minutes in their legs, so there will be changes."

Defender Alex Sandro, however, has joined Bonucci on the absentee list.

"Leo played against Empoli and in the first leg against Villarreal, and he was not feeling well. He made himself available for the team and that was greatly appreciated, but now he has a calf problem," Allegri said.

"Alex Sandro's calf still hasn't settled either, so I prefer not to risk him as tomorrow is not the last game of the season."

Juventus have not reached the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition for the past two seasons and Allegri urged his players to treat the match against Villarreal like a final.

"The only goal for tomorrow is obviously to qualify," he said. "In Spain the team took some risks ... In the second half, when we already had the game under control, there was that lapse in the defence and they were able to get back into the game.

"This is the moment of the season that counts: it is now that we must be 'different' from the rest of the season. Villarreal are a good team with a very good coach, they concede little and are never out of the game.

"Tomorrow is like a final and we play it at home. Since away goals no longer count double, we have to win and that's it."

(Reporting by Anita Kobylinska in Gdansk; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

Source: Reuters


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