Milan (AFP) – An under-strength Juventus will travel to Napoli after coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Friday both Federico Chiesa and all of his South American internationals would be left at home following their World Cup qualifying efforts.
Chiesa missed Italy’s 5-0 hammering of Lithuania on Wednesday with a muscle problem and even though tests revealed no injury Allegri said the 23-year-old would be left in Turin for Saturday’s match.
“The tests were negative but as a precautionary measure I spoke to the lad and while he seems OK, when you feel like there is something wrong, even something really small, it’s a risk playing in a high-intensity match like the one tomorrow night,” Allegri told reporters.
As well as Chiesa, Juve will be without attackers Paulo Dybala and Juan Cuadrado, midfielder Rodrigo Bentancur and defenders Danilo and Alex Sandro as they are returning too late from their respective qualifiers.
Allegri said that Cuadrado was the only one of those players who could have made the match at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona but will stay in Colombia after suffering an attack of gastroenteritis.
“The players finished playing at 3.30 in the morning and will arrive in Italy at 11am tomorrow,” said Allegri.
“Taking them to Naples when we have a match on Tuesday and they need to rest in my opinion is senseless. They stay at home.
“Tuesday we have an important Champions League match because the first group game (at Malmo) is the most important one.”
That raft of absences means Italy forward Moise Kean could make his first Juve appearance after returning to the club where he began his fledgling career.
The 22-year-old was hugely impressive for the Azzurri against Lithuania, scoring twice and providing the sort of presence Juve will need in attack following Cristiano Ronaldo’s transfer to Manchester United.
They sit 12th in Serie A with just one point from two games, while Napoli have a perfect six.
“I’ve found Kean in good form, he scored a number of goals for Paris Saint-Germain,” said Allegri.
“He’s a player that we wanted and would have arrived regardless of what happened with Ronaldo.”