Juventus’s injury crisis continues after the Italian champions confirmed that Dani Alves has broken his leg and Leonardo Bonucci could be out until February.
The extent of the Brazilian right-back’s fractured left fibula is not yet known but Bonucci’s thigh strain is expected to rule him out for 45 to 60 days. Both players picked up their knocks in Sunday’s 3-1 defeat at Genoa.
It leaves Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri with a big headache at the back. Andrea Barzagli is already out until next year with a dislocated shoulder, Giorgio Chiellini has been in and out of the team all season with a recurring calf problem while Medhi Benatia has just returned from a knee injury.
Reporter view: Paolo Menicucci
Juventus proved their depth when they won 3-1 at Sevilla on matchday five, despite the absence of Barzagli, Chiellini, Benatia, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuaín and Marko Pjaca. Bonucci and Alves could be the straws that break the camel’s back, though, especially given Juve’s next three Serie A opponents: in-form Atalanta, city rivals Torino and second-placed Roma.
Allegri can console himself with the fact that his side are already through to the UEFA Champions League knockout stages but he will be eager to hold on to first spot against Dinamo Zagreb next week. His hand is further weakened by the fact that Stephan Lichtsteiner is not in their UEFA Champions League squad.
So we could see Chiellini (if fit) or Patrice Evra playing alongside Benatia and Daniele Rugani in a three-man back line. If Allegri goes for a 4-3-3 system, like he did against Sevilla, he will probably have to convert a midfielder like Stefano Sturaro to right-back.