Despite injury concerns, Angel Di Maria and Federico Chiesa are still in contention to play in Juventus’ Europa League last-16 second leg against SC Freiburg.
Di Maria appeared to be hampered by a left thigh injury late in Juventus’ 1-0 first-leg win over Sampdoria last Thursday, where he earlier scored the winner, and missed Juventus’ 4-2 Serie A win over Sampdoria on Sunday.
Chiesa entered the game against Freiburg in the 67th minute but suffered a right knee injury, which the club confirmed was not ligament capsule damage.
Massimiliano Allegri, head coach of the Bianconeri, is hopeful that the pair will play some part in the second leg, though he admits they will not be fit to start.
“It is very unlikely they will be there from the start, as we only recovered them this morning, but they could be of use during the match,” Allegri told reporters.
“I will evaluate Chiesa and Di Maria tomorrow morning and from there I can make my decision on the starting line-up.
“Unfortunately, Di Maria had this injury after the first leg with Freiburg and had to miss quite a few training sessions.
“The test went well today, that doesn’t mean he has a lot of minutes in his legs, but there is the risk we could lose him for 40 days, seeing as that is what happened in September.
“Tomorrow is important, but we also have many more matches to play this season.”
Di Maria has scored eight goals in all competitions with four Serie Aa assists this term, while Chiesa has contributed three league assists with one goal.
🎙 Allegri: "Let's take it one step at a time. Let's think about going through and then the match against Inter. Going forward in the Europa League, I always say, fills the calendar, so we train less, play more and have fun."#SCFJUV— JuventusFC 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@juventusfcen) March 15, 2023
Allegri declared striker Dusan Vlahovic was fully fit and available to play although he declined to commit to starting him alongside Moise Kean.
Vlahovic has not scored in his past six appearances dating back to his goal against Nantes in the Europa League on February 16.
“Dusan Vlahovic was very sad that he hasn’t scored recently, but is fine physically. I am relaxed and certain that he’ll soon be back on the scoresheet,” Allegri added.
“We want to score here, because just trying to defend for 0-0 is really not a good idea. Freiburg are good on set plays, we need to be very organised and concentrated for the full 100 minutes.”