Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Paulo Dybala will not feature against AS Roma on Sunday, as the Argentine has failed to recover from a muscle injury he suffered against Sampdoria at the end of September.
There had been suggestions that the 27-year-old was set to make a shock return to the Bianconeri side this weekend, having sustained a thigh strain only 20 minutes into the victory over Samp, which forced him to leave the field in tears.
But Allegri put an end to rumours of a Dybala return against Roma during his pre-match press conference, stating that he’s ‘absolutely not’ going to play any part on Sunday evening, while it’s touch and go for Alvaro Morata.
“Morata will train with the team today, but it depends on the risks we can take with his availability,” Allegri said. “If not, we risk nullifying the work done by the doctors.
“Dybala, absolutely not. He’s far behind Morata. During the week I was reading that Dybala can play against Roma… Maybe the return leg.
“I think he will be available within a week, no more than ten days.”
Allegri also confessed that he doesn’t have a ‘clear idea’ of his squad at the moment, after several South American stars returned from international duty only hours before the weekend’s action kicked off.
“Clear ideas are big words,” Allegri began. “Today, for the first time, I see the whole team together.
“The Europeans returned between Wednesday and Thursday, while the South Americans arrived yesterday. Let’s see what we’ll do. I’ll decide in the morning.
“Juventus vs Roma is always a great match where there has often been controversy. There’s [Jose] Mourinho, who has given them character. They are ahead of us, and we must score points to not fall behind the best in the championship.”
Juve have former Arsenal star Aaron Ramsey back in contention after he featured twice for Wales in the World Cup qualifiers, but Allegri refused to reveal whether the midfielder would start against Roma.
“There was nothing to clarify,” Allegri confirmed. “I leaned a lot on Ramsey at the beginning. Then he got injured, but he has played two games with the national team at least.
“Tomorrow, I don’t know if he will start, but he’s a player I rely on.”
Allegri also admitted he’s ‘pleased’ to see Roma coach Mourinho back in Serie A, and discussed the Portuguese’s famous cupped ear celebration after beating Juve and Allegri with Manchester United in 2018.
“Mourinho is a coach who has won a lot and I respect him a lot,” Allegri added. “It’s in his character, every now and then, to do like he did with Manchester a few years ago.
“Moreover, that gesture of the ears with Manchester United he did it at the end of Juventus’ most beautiful game. In the end, nobody remembers it because we lost.
“It pleases me to have a coach of his value back in Italy.”