Juventus coach MassimilianoAllegri has called on Andrea Barzagli to replace the injured Giorgio Chiellini for Saturday’s Champions League final against Barcelona. Chiellini was ruled out of the game in Berlin earlier this week after picking up a calf injury, with the centre-back then taking time to thank fans for their support following the news.
Juve released a statement on Thursday which confirmed that Chiellini missed the morning’s training session due to a calf problem which will keep him out of the final in Berlin. “As the clock ticks down to Saturday’s showpiece event at the Olympiastadion, MassimilianoAllegri’s men focused on tactics at Juventus Center. Missing out was Giorgio Chiellini, who underwent tests after reporting discomfort in his calf on Wednesday,” the statement reported.
While Barzagli’s introduction is the only change from the side that started the second leg of their final against Real Madrid. Arturo Vidal will once again start at the tip of a midfield diamond, leaving Carlos Tevez and Alvaro Morata in the final third.
Chiellini’s absence has robbed fans of watching him come up against Barcelona striker Luis Suarez, who was sent off and banned for four months after biting the Italian on the shoulder during an Italy v Uruguay group fixture at last summer’s World Cup.
However Chiellini’s absence will not be a disappointment to Barcelona, who look set to recover key midfielder Andres Iniesta for Saturday’s final at the Olympiastadion in Berlin. Iniesta has back to full training with his teammates following an injury suspended last week.
Chiellini, whose natural position is at left-back, is regularly ranked among the top defenders in Europe and has often given Juventus extra potency in attack when he moves up the park for corners and free kick situations. Chiellini scored the opener for Juve in their recent 2-1 Cup final win over Lazio as the Bianconeri clinched their first Cup and first league and Cup double since 1995. Chiellini is considered to be one of the top defenders in Europe, and in 2013 he was ranked as the seventh-best footballer playing in Europe.
Taking off from the pitch from an injury is not an unusual thing for Chiellini. In 2010, he sustained injury in the win over Fiorentina, sidelined him for several important games. As the consequence, in his absence, Juventus embarked on a miserable run of form, conceding nine goals in the four games he missed
As for Barcelona, there are no surprises in what has become Luis Enr.ique’s first-choice XI.Elsewhere, former Real Madrid striker Alvaro Morata gets the nod to line up alongside Carlos Tevez up front for Juve, with Fernando Llorente having to make do with a place on the bench.