The 25-year-old Belgian has dropped to the bench for the match against Everton two weeks ago and then missed the win at Bournemouth because of an injury. Manchester United striker Romelu Lukaku could miss the Manchester derby at the weekend after he was not named in the squad for Wednesday’s trip to Juventus.
“He’s injured for tomorrow, I’m not sure for Sunday,” United manager Jose Mourinho said. Lukaku has only scored four goals in 14 matches for United this season. The last of those came in the 2-1 win at Watford on 15 September.
Following the previous Champions League game against Juventus, two weeks ago, Mourinho said that the Belgian had been lacking in confidence but that “the goals will arrive”. He was relegated to the bench for the following match, against the Toffees.
Meanwhile, right-back Antonio Valencia has returned to the squad for Wednesday’s encounter having not played since the start of October following mouth surgery.
Juventus forward Mario Mandzukic is fit again after an ankle problem ruled him out of the fixture against Cagliari at the weekend. Midfielders Douglas Costa and Emre Can, winger Federico Bernardeschi and forward Moise Kean are not available.
Coach Massimiliano Allegri said he might select Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala and former United player Cristiano Ronaldo as a three-pronged attack.
‘We have the chance to achieve our first target’
Juventus are top of Champions League Group H with three wins from three. They also lead Serie A by six points after a record-breaking start to the campaign, winning their first 10 matches in all competitions.
“We’re doing well at the moment, but you don’t win any silverware at this stage of the season,” former AC Milan coach Allegri said. “Tomorrow [Wednesday] we have the chance to reach our first target for the season by qualifying for the next round of the Champions League, then we’ll be able to focus on Serie A. It’s important to try and get to March in very good shape.”
‘You have to turn up for 90 minutes’
Former Manchester United winger Ryan Giggs says he is perplexed as to why the side have failed to produce a complete 90-minute display. “I’ve been really impressed with United in the last four or five games, especially the second half,” said the Wales manager, who won 13 league titles and two Champions Leagues with the Old Trafford club.
“But I don’t know what it is. As a United fan you are scratching your head. “Bournemouth on Saturday were brilliant in the first half, but United were brilliant in the second half. It’s just putting that 90 minutes together.
“They have proven they can give anyone a game, but if you don’t turn up for 45 minutes you will not win. “You have to turn up for 90 minutes and United have the players.”
‘Defeat is likely to impact United’
Simon Gleave, head of sports analysis, Gracenote
“United’s home defeat by Euro Club Index number two team Juventus didn’t do the Red Devils’ chance of progress too much damage because it was a) expected and b) United’s biggest rivals Valencia failed to beat Young Boys in Switzerland.
“Defeat in Italy this week is likely to impact United’s chance of playing in the last 16 though as a Valencia win at home against Young Boys will push Jose Mourinho’s team down to third place. The final group match between Valencia and Manchester United in Spain looks increasingly like it could be the final decider in Group H.”
- This is the 14th European meeting between Juventus and Manchester United – Juventus have won six, United have won five and they have drawn two of the previous 13.
- United managed just six shots in their home Champions League match against Juventus in October – they last had fewer than that in a single Champions League match in October 2013 against Shakhtar Donetsk under David Moyes (four shots).
- United boss Jose Mourinho last managed an away match at Juventus in December 2009, when he was Inter Milan manager – he lost 1-2 in a Serie A encounter.
- No side has won more away Champions League matches at Juventus than United (two, same as Bayern Munich).
- Since losing 0-3 to Manchester United in the second group stage in February 2003, Juventus have lost just one of their 35 home Champions League matches in the group stages (W24 D10).
- Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo is goalless in each of his last five Champions League games – since scoring a 90th-minute penalty against Juventus in April for Real Madrid, he has played 389 minutes and attempted 15 shots without success.
- Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri has lost just one of his last 26 home Champions League matches as a manager (W16 D9), a 0-3 defeat in last season’s quarter-final against Real Madrid.
- United have won their last two away Champions League matches against Juventus, scoring three goals in each win – 3-2 in April 1999 and 3-0 in February 2003.
- They have failed to score in their last two Champions League games – they have not failed to score in three consecutively since November 2005.
- United have not lost home and away against an opponent in a Champions League group stage since 2001-02, when they lost both games against Deportivo de La Coruna in the first group stage – the only other occasion this has happened was in 1996-97, when they did so against Juventus.
Source: BBC News