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Ronaldo in Juventus squad to face Ajax but Chiellini absent

11:02 PM GMT+8 09/04/2019
Cristiano Ronaldo Giorgio Chiellini Juventus
The Portugal international is likely to start in Amsterdam although the club's influential centre-back misses out through injury

Juventus have received mix news on the injury front with Cristiano Ronaldo available and in the squad for their Champions League meeting with Ajax but Giorgio Chiellini is forced to miss out.

There were concerns that the Portugal international would not be able to shake off a thigh injury in time to feature in Wednesday's showdown with the Dutch side.

He did, however, take part in training with the rest of the squad on Tuesday and was subsequently part of the travelling party heading to Amsterdam.

There is less positive news over the fitness of captain Chiellini, however.

The Italy international defender was already a doubt for the first leg in Amsterdam with a calf injury and, having missed training on Monday, he was forced to undergo a session away from the group.

And he has since been ruled out of the first leg, with Chiellini's name not part of the 21-man squad named to face the Eredivisie side.

Former Liverpool midfielder Emre Can is also missing after he had to train separately from the rest of the squad on Tuesday as he continues to struggle with an ankle problem.

That could see Sami Khedira, who only recently returned to action following a heart problem, take his place in the starting XI in what would be his first start since February 15.

Should, as now expected, Ronaldo feature from the start against Ajax, it will be his first appearance for Juve in four matches.

Having been rested for the 2-0 defeat to Genoa, Ronaldo subsequently injured his hamstring on international duty with Portugal where he had to be withdrawn after 30 minutes of the 1-1 Euro 2020 qualifying draw with Serbia.

That meant he missed Juve's three matches after the international break, including the 2-1 triumph over AC Milan that has put them within touching distance of another Serie A crown.

A draw or win in Saturday's clash with 16th-placed SPAL will see them win an eighth consecutive Italian top-flight title and ensure Ronaldo will have won league titles in England, Spain and Italy.

With the Serie A title all but clinched, Massimiliano Allegri's side will be hoping they can make significant progress in Europe and, should they manage to advance past Ajax, they will then face either Manchester City or Tottenham in the semi-finals.

And they will likely be looking to Ronaldo for inspiration, with the 34-year-old scoring an incredible hat-trick to ensure Juve recovered from a 2-0 first-leg deficit to beat Atletico Madrid and advance through to the quarters.