Juventus are beset by injury issues ahead of their Champions League group stage clash with Bayer Leverkusen this evening.The Italian champions have a host of key players sidelined, meaning manager Maurizio Sarri will have to juggle his squad and deploy certain stars out of position against the Bundesliga outfit.
Juventus captain Giorgio Chiellini is a long-term absentee after an ACL injury while Mattia Perin and Mattia De Sciglio have also been sidelined for an extended period.And Douglas Costa and Danilo both have thigh problems while Alex Sandro flew home to Brazil after a family emergency last week and remains a doubt.
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Cuadrado has been lining up at right-back in recent weeks while Matuidi filled in on the opposite flank at the weekend as Juventus beat SPAL 2-0.The injury to Chiellini has handed summer signing Matthijs de Ligt a prolonged run in central defence alongside Leonardo Bonucci.The Dutchman is already ahead of Daniele Rugani and Merih Demiral in the pecking order and will continue here, while first-choice goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny should return in place of club legend Gianluigi Buffon.
Juventus team news: Maurizio Sarri has a number of key absentees ahead of the clash with Leverkusen (Image: buildlineup.com•GETTY)
Juventus team news: Juan Cuadrado has been deputising at right-back in recent weeks (Image: GETTY)Miralem Pjanic, Sami Khedira and Adrien Rabiot all started on Saturday and are expected to be preferred over Rodrigo Bentancur in central midfield.
Emre Can was omitted from the Champions League squad at the start of the campaign and cannot feature, while Aaron Ramsey and Paulo Dybala are in competition for the No 10 role.The Argentine started up front at the weekend alongside Cristiano Ronaldo but Gonzalo Higuain should return to lead the line.
Like Can, Mario Mandzukic was left out of the Champions League squad and is ineligible while Leverkusen will be without winger Leon Bailley due to injury.
Juventus team news: Is this how Juve will line up against Bayer Leverkusen? (Image: buildlineup.com)Juventus predicted line-up vs Bayer Leverkusen – Champions League(4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, De Ligt, Matuidi; Pjanic, Khedira, Rabiot; Ramsey; Higuain, Ronaldo.