Predicted XI

Ronaldo returns - How Juventus could line up against Sampdoria

The Portuguese superstar was given a rare rest midweek by Andrea Pirlo as the Bianconeri progressed in the Coppa Italia

12:54pm on Friday 29th January 2021
Martin Macdonald

Juventus will likely welcome Cristiano Ronaldo back into the starting XI this weekend when they face Sampdoria in Serie A.

The former Real Madrid star was given the midweek Coppa Italia game against SPAL off, as Juve progressed through to the next round without him anyway after a comfortable 4-0 home victory.

Unfortunately for Ronaldo, he is now being investigated by Italian authorities after allegedly breaking Covid regulations by taking a trip for his girlfriend's birthday. A post of the bash was posted on social media and subsequently deleted.

But, he is available to play for Juve at the moment, and will come right back in to start.

Gianluigi Buffon started against SPAL, but he will likely drop back down to the bench with Wojciech Szczesny returning for Serie A duties.

Youngsters Radu Dragusin, Gianluca Frabotta, and Nicolo Fagiolo were all given minutes in the Coppa Italia, too, but they will all likely be replaced by returning senior members of the squad.

Paulo Dybala is going to miss out due to injury, but Juve hope to have him fit either for the Roma game next week or potentially the Napoli fixture the week after.

Dejan Kulusevski is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards this season.

In defence, veteran Leonardo Bonucci will likely return in place of Merih Demiral alongside Matthijs de Ligt, with Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado in the full-back positions.

There are doubts over the fitness of Rodrigo Bentancur, which could mean a central midfield pairing of Weston McKennie and Adrien Rabiot, though Arthur is also pushing for a start.

Federico Chiesa came off the bench to score two against SPAL and will return on the right wing, with Aaron Ramsey probably retaining his place on the opposite flank.

Ronaldo will partner Alvaro Morata up top.

Juventus predicted XI against Sampdoria

JUVE - Football tactics and formations

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