Higuain blow as Juve target Cup history

By Daily Sports on February 28, 2018

Gonzalo Higuain will miss out through injury as Juventus bid to keep their tilt at a record fourth straight Italian Cup on track in the rescheduled semifinal second-leg clash against Atalanta on Wednesday.

Higuain -- the scorer of the third-minute goal which gave Juventus a 1-0 first-leg advantage in Bergamo -- suffered an ankle sprain against Torino a week ago.

The Argentine had been expected to start on the bench in Turin, if snow which scuppered Sunday's Serie A game against Atalanta clears up.

But the 30-year-old was not named in Massimiliano Allegri's squad on Tuesday due to "continuing pain", with Juan Cuadrado, Mattia De Sciglio and Federico Bernardeschi also missing.

Midfielder Sami Khedira will be available along with forward Paulo Dybala in a match which is key for the club's ambitions of winning a treble this season.

"The Italian Cup for us is a big goal, first of all because in the modern era there has not been a team that has won the Cup four years in a row and this year we along with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have the chance," said Allegri.

"(Dybala) needs minutes, there's no doubt," he added of the Argentinian, who has struggled for top form and fitness in recent weeks.

"Paulo will be in the match either from the start or as a sub and then Saturday's match will give him more minutes.

Captain Gianluigi Buffon will continue in goal on Wednesday, having taken over Cup duties from former Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny for the first leg.

"We'll have to respond quickly to think about Lazio (on Saturday) but tomorrow (today) our goal is, of course, to reach the final," said Allegri.

Atalanta -- whose only Cup victory was back in 1963 -- knocked out Serie A leaders Napoli en route to the semi-finals.

The winners will next play either Lazio or AC Milan who meet at the Stadio Olimpico after a 0-0 first-leg draw, with the final also in Rome on May 9. © AFP

•Photo shows Gonzalo Higuain.

Source Daily Sports

Posted February 28, 2018


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