Allegri confirms Bonucci absence after row

By Ben Spratt 21 February 2017 471
Allegri confirms Bonucci absence after row

Leonardo Bonucci will not play for Juventus at Porto in the Champions League on Wednesday following his row with head coach Massimiliano Allegri.

The two men argued towards the end of a 4-1 Serie A victory against Palermo on Friday, although Allegri later played it down as "a misunderstanding".

However, Bonucci is now to miss out as Juve travel to Portugal in their last-16 first leg, with the coach claiming the player has no problem with the decision.

"Bonucci will be in the stands [on Wednesday]," Allegri told a pre-match news conference. "That doesn't mean it has to be made into a big deal.

"This was the right thing to do, out of respect for the club, the team and the fans. The case is closed. As an important and intelligent lad, Leo understands the decision."

While Juve are without Bonucci, though, they have been handed a boost in the centre of defence as Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli are both available.

The two defenders have been absent in recent weeks with injuries, but are now set to line up against a dangerous Porto side as Allegri looks to move on from the Bonucci incident.

"Chiellini and Barzagli are fit and raring to go," he added. "This is a big moment in our season and we're ready.

"There are tensions and a bit of chaos during a season, that's part of the sport, but we don't need to make things worse than they are. It is all sorted out, we move forward.

"Our only focus is on playing 180 minutes of the highest quality. This won't be an easy tie. Porto are the worst side we could have drawn in the round-of-16 and we do not want to be distracted by a situation that does not exist."

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