Paulo Dybala has been ruled out of Juventus' Champions League round-of-16 clash with Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday night, despite returning to training with the rest of the team on Monday.
The Argentine forward has been out since pulling his thigh muscle during the Bianconeri's 1-0 win at Cagliari on Jan. 7. Ruled out for between 40 and 45 days, the 24-year-old was hoping to expedite his recovery to enable him to face Spurs, but he has not managed to convince coach Massimiliano Allegri that he is ready.
Dybala's name did not figure on the list of players Allegri has called up for Tuesday night's game at the Allianz Stadium.
🇮🇹Di nuovo tra voi: forza ragazzi, dritti verso l'obiettivo! 🇦🇷De nuevo con ustedes, fuerza muchachos, directos por el objectivo!🇺🇸 Here I am, again with you! Forza ragazzi, straight to the goal! ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/hAFIgW5ELv
- Paulo Dybala (@PauDybala_JR) February 12, 2018
Also absent is Italian defender Andrea Barzagli, who was unable to train on Monday after injuring his right calf in Juve's 2-0 victory at Fiorentina on Friday night. His place will probably be taken by Mattia De Sciglio, with Giorgio Chiellini and Medhi Benatia at the heart of a back four, with Alex Sandro on the left.
With Dybala out, Douglas Costa should keep his place on the right of a three-man attack, with Gonzalo Higuain in the centre and Mario Mandzukic -- who also took a knock on Friday, but has been able to train regularly -- on the left.
Dybala has failed to score in the Champions League this season, despite featuring in all six of Juve's group games. Higuain has scored two, while Mandzukic, who has only played three times, has also found the back of the net twice.
Both Dybala and Barzagli will miss their first game in this season's competition.
Ben Gladwell reports on Serie A, the Italian national team and the Bundesliga for ESPN FC, UEFA and the Press Association. @UEFAcomBenG.