Not so positive
Cristiano Ronaldo has tested positive for Covid-19 once again, and is therefore expected to be unavailable for Juventus’ game against Barcelona. Having tested positive for the virus a week ago, there had been hope that the Portuguese would recover in time to face Lionel Messi’s Barca.
This now appears all but impossible. According to the most recent reports, though, despite this, the ‘viral load showed very low values.’ Juventus will hope that a new test can be carried out 48 hours prior to next Wednesday’s clash.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) October 12, 2020
The last time that Ronaldo and Messi faced each other in the Champions League was back in 2011. Messi’s famous run after Pepe had been sent off at the Bernabeu put Barca in control of the tie. A 1-1 draw at the Camp Nou sent them to the final.
Fans had been yearning for a reunion ever since Ronaldo left La Liga to join Serie A champions Juve. But they may need to wait until the clubs reconvene in several weeks’ time for the reverse fixture.
With Ronaldo out, Andrea Pirlo faces a difficult selection decision. The Italians have tried two different attacking combinations in the absence of their star man. In the disappointing 1-1 draw at Crotone, Alvaro Morata was supported by youngsters Dejan Kulusevski and, to a lesser extent, Manolo Portanova.
More recently, a 2-0 win over Dynamo Kyiv saw Aaron Ramsey play in behind Morata, with Kulusevski and Federico Chiesa out wide. Pirlo also has the option of Paulo Dybala, in addition to Federico Bernardeschi.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@cristi0no7) October 17, 2020
Whatever the Italian chooses, the gulf in quality without Ronaldo is huge. With Barcelona’s attacking frame of Messi, Ansu Fati and Phillipe Coutinho taking shape, Juve could be caught out.
Whatever the selection, though, the two top sides in the group will hopefully put on one of the clashes of the tournament.
This article was edited by Conor Laird.
Football Live streaming: Featured matches on January 27, 2020
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|Brighton & Hove Albion FC vs Fulham FC||67'||1-0||0-0|
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