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Italian Cup: Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain ruled out of club's second-leg clash against Atalanta due to injury

Turin: Gonzalo Higuain will miss out through injury as Juventus bid to keep their tilt at a record fourth straight Italian Cup on track in Wednesday's semi-final, second-leg clash against Atalanta.

Higuain – the scorer of the third-minute goal which gave Juventus a 1-0 first-leg advantage in Bergamo – suffered an ankle sprain against Torino a week ago.

Soccer Football - Serie A - Torino vs Juventus - Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, Turin, Italy - February 18, 2018 Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain receives medical treatment after sustaining an injury REUTERS/Massimo Pinca - RC17F9B42A50

Juventus’ Gonzalo Higuain receives medical treatment after sustaining an injury. Reuters

The Argentine had been expected to start on the bench in Turin, if snow which scuppered Sunday's Serie A game against Atalanta clears up.

But the 30-year-old was not named in Massimiliano Allegri's squad on Tuesday due to "continuing pain", with Juan Cuadrado, Mattia De Sciglio and Federico Bernardeschi also missing.

Midfielder Sami Khedira will be available along with forward Paulo Dybala in a match which is key for the club's ambitions of winning a treble this season.

"The Italian Cup for us is a big goal, first of all because in the modern era there has not been a team that has won the Cup four years in a row and this year we along with Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona have the chance (for a treble)," said Allegri.

"(Dybala) needs minutes, there's no doubt," he added of the Argentinian, who has struggled for top form and fitness in recent weeks.

"Paulo will be in the match either from the start or as a sub and then Saturday's match will give him more minutes.

"He's much better overall, has had good training sessions and we need him on the field."

Captain Gianluigi Buffon will continue in goal on Wednesday, having taken over Cup duties from former Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny for the first leg.

"We'll have to respond quickly to think about Lazio (on Saturday) but tomorrow (Wednesday) our goal is, of course, to reach the final," said Allegri.

"It won't be easy because Atalanta is a tough team looking to bounce back from their unfortunate European exit and they have a great chance to get to a final that doesn't happen often for them."

Atalanta – whose only Cup victory was back in 1963 – knocked out Serie A leaders Napoli en route to the semi-finals.

The winners will next play either Lazio or AC Milan who meet at the Stadio Olimpico after a 0-0 first-leg draw, with the final also in Rome on 9 May.


Updated Date: Feb 28, 2018 12:00 PM

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