Paulo Dybala is ready to make his long-awaited return for Juventus when the Italians host Dinamo Zagreb on Wednesday looking to secure top spot in Champions League Group H.
With Gonzalo Higuain only recently returning from a muscle problem and attacking midfielder Mark Pjaca still sidelined, Dybala’s absence has piled the pressure on the injury-ravaged champions during a tough month of November.
But Juve’s diminutive playmaker, injured in a 1-0 defeat to AC Milan six weeks ago, is set to make his return in the second half on Wednesday when coach Massimiliano Allegri will sacrifice either Higuain or Mario Mandzukic.
“Mandzukic is doing well and tomorrow (Wednesday) he will start alongside Higuain,” Allegri said. Dybala will play, but he won’t make an appearance until the second half. It’s important that he returns gradually for us.”
But Allegri said there was no cunning plan that would help him engineer a second-place finish to avoid meeting one of the trio in the last 16.
“From the start I’ve been saying we want to finish top of the group, and now you want us to finish second !” Allegri said when told about the group positions of Juve’s potential last 16 rivals. To go all the way in this competition, you have to play the strongest.”