Italian champions Juventus have this afternoon been dealt a double blow on the injury front, ahead of their upcoming Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Tottenham.
The return of the Champions League on Tuesday evening saw the Serie A champions welcome Spurs to the Allianz Stadium for a much-anticipated last-16 clash.
And the hype ahead of kick-off proved to be wholly warranted following the full-time whistle, with the two sides having played out an absolutely thrilling affair in Turin.
A brace from Gonzalo Higuain within the first 10 minutes of the matchup saw Tottenham shell-shocked, but Mauricio Pochettino’s men, who showcased their ability to perform on the grand stage during the competition’s group stage versus Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund, proved once again that they belong with the elite of European football en route to a 2-goal comeback.
On a knife-edge
The second-leg between the sides is set to be played out at Wembley in 3 weeks’ time, with Juventus boss Max Allegri having confirmed ahead of the Bianconeri’s Derby della Mole clash with Torino earlier today that both Paulo Dybala and Blaise Matuidi were closing in on returns from their respective injuries.
Dybala made his return as a substitute this afternoon, playing the final 25 minutes of Juve’s 1-0 win.
However, while the diminutive Argentinian’s presence provided a welcome boost for the Old Lady, it was not long before the Serie A champions, who have had appalling luck on the injury front of late, were dealt another pair of blows.
The first Juve star to be forced off with a fitness problem was Gonzalo Higuain, with the South American having been clattered by Torino goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu early in the first-half, before eventually succumbing to the problem 10 minutes later.
Mario Mandzukic’s absence this afternoon meant that Higuain had to be replaced by midfielder/winger Federico Bernardeschi, who, after setting up the only goal of the clash with a darting run and driven cross, was also forced off with an injury of his own shortly before the full-time whistle.
As per an update via Football-Italia.net, initial reports have suggested that Higuain’s ankle problem is just a knock rather than a sprain, while Bernardeschi looks to have hyper-extended his knee.