Chiesa missing for Juventus but setback 'nothing serious'

By Sports Desk February 22, 2023

Massimiliano Allegri explained injuries were to be expected for Federico Chiesa this season and the issue that will keep him out this week is "nothing serious".

Chiesa will not play for Juventus against Nantes in the second leg of their Europa League knockout round play-off.

His absence is a blow having impressed in a first leg the Bianconeri dominated before drawing 1-1 in Turin.

Any lay-off for Chiesa is likely to cause concern given he missed almost a year with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

However, Allegri was able to reassure Juve supporters ahead of the match at Stade de la Beaujoire, suggesting such setbacks were natural after a major injury.

"Unfortunately, tomorrow we don't have him, but we knew this," Allegri said.

"When a player is 10 months without playing, he comes back and when he makes two games in a row, some issues can occur that are nothing serious but affect the possibility of having him available."

Juve would have hoped not to be playing in the Europa League, but Allegri still sees an opportunity to take a rare step.

In each of the previous three campaigns, the Serie A giants were beaten in their first knockout tie in the Champions League, meaning they are looking to end a long wait for a two-legged triumph.

"This year Juventus has an important goal," Allegri said. "It is to pass the first qualifying round, even if these are the 'sixteenth-finals', given that in the last three years we have always gone out in the first knockout round in the Champions League.

"Tomorrow is a final, a unique game, since away goals no longer count double. We know that tomorrow we play a game at [Nantes'] home, and we play for the passage through this round."

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