Juventus boss Max Allegri has given the Old Lady a huge boost ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg, revealing Paul Pogba will likely start against Real Madrid at the Bernabeu.
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Pogba has been out for a number of weeks with a thigh problem and missed the first-leg against the reigning European Champions in Turin.
However, he returned to the starting XI on Saturday in the Serie A in a 1-1 draw with Cagliari, playing over 60 minutes, where he opened the scoring, and was onboard a flight that took the Juve squad to the Spanish capital on Tuesday morning.
Chelsea have been consistently linked with a move for the young midfielder, The Daily Telegraph claimed just last month that Jose Mourinho would finance such a deal for him by selling Brazilian duo Oscar and Ramires.
The Frenchman returns for perhaps Juventus’ most pivotal game of the season and will be key if they are to hold on to their slim 2-1 advantage over Carlo Ancelotti’s side given they are away from home and facing an obscenely talented forward line in Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.
And just to make matters worse, Karim Benzema could be fit enough to start the game after missing the first leg.
“Paul is fine and it is very probable that he will start,” Allegri said according to The Guardian.
“Paul is an outstanding player and a very important one: on Wednesday he can show how good he is by playing a great game.
Considering Pogba didn’t play the full 90 minutes at the weekend, it’s debatable whether he would on Wednesday night, and whilst Algeria was coy on this question, veteran keeper Gianluigi Buffon seemed to admit the 21-year-old would likely have to be substituted at some point in the game
“Even if it is not for 90 minutes, he can give us 60-70 minutes at a great level and that would really help us.
“We have done better than anyone expected this season, especially when you consider that we have the cup final to come too,” Buffon hinting his side might yet achieve an incredible treble.
“It has been fantastic but it is not true that we have nothing to lose, even if we do have the serenity that comes from having surpassed [our objectives].
“In terms of motivation these games prepare themselves. We have to be brave and we will not just defend. Why shouldn’t we believe that we can do it? This is a great opportunity that no one thought we would have.”