Juventus

Cristiano Ronaldo set for bench role at Spezia, Pirlo confirms

Juventus boss Andrea Pirlo is set to call upon Cristiano Ronaldo once again against Spezia on Sunday after he missed four games due to covid-19.

Ronaldo set for Juve return but unlikely to start against Spezia, Pirlo confirms

Cristiano Ronaldo is in contention to feature for Juventus in their Serie A match at Spezia at the Stadio Alberto Picco on Sunday after recovering from coronavirus, but Andrea Pirlo doubts the Portugal great will start after missing four matches following a positive covid-19 test returned when on international duty.

Juve only managed to win one of those four games, a 2-0 Champions League victory over Dynamo Kiev, as they were held to Serie A draws by Crotone and Hellas Verona, before losing 2-0 to Barcelona at home on Wednesday.

The club confirmed on Friday that Ronaldo, 35, finally returned a negative test result, meaning he was no longer required to self-isolate, though he was still due to undergo a medical examination before the game.

It seems Ronaldo has since passed such a test, with Pirlo revealing the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is travelling with the squad.

Pirlo: "I don't think he'll play from the beginning"

"I found him well, even the second swab was negative, so he is fine and will set off with us," the former Italy international told reporters.

"I don't think he'll play from the beginning - the important thing is to have him available: he is a fundamental player. He trained at home, but it's not the same as doing it on the pitch."

Matthijs de Ligt remains a week or so away from a return, however, with the Dutch defender yet to feature this term after having shoulder surgery in August.

"Unfortunately, we will have to wait another week, as the orthopaedist requested of us. Until now, however, everything has gone well, he is training with the team but he still needs a few days," Pirlo said.