Ronaldo on the bench for Juventus return

Oleh Ben Spratt 1 November 2020 22
Ronaldo on the bench for Juventus return

Cristiano Ronaldo has been named on the Juventus bench against Spezia after testing negative for coronavirus.

Former Manchester United and Real Madrid superstar Ronaldo contracted COVID-19 in October while away on international duty.

He missed action for both Juve and Portugal before his club finally announced the forward was clear of the virus on Friday.

Coach Andrea Pirlo had suggested a start in Sunday's Serie A game was unlikely, though, and the 35-year-old was instead among the substitutes.

Juve have certainly missed Ronaldo, who has three goals in two games this season.

Pirlo's side did not win either of the Serie A matches their number seven missed, drawing 1-1 with both Crotone and Hellas Verona.

That continues a trend from Ronaldo's time in Turin, with results unsurprisingly dropping off when the five-time Ballon d'Or winner is absent.

While Juve have won 72.7 per cent of the 66 league games Ronaldo has played in, they have tasted victory in just seven - 50 per cent - of the 14 he has missed since his signing.

They pick up 2.3 points per game with Ronaldo and just 1.7 without, while they score more when the forward is in the side, too, netting 2.0 per game versus 1.5 in his absence.

The Bianconeri actually also concede fewer goals when opponents have to keep an eye on Ronaldo, that figure rising from 0.9 goals against per game to 1.1 when he is on the sidelines.

During his lay-off, Juve had a further two games in the Champions League, beating Dynamo Kiev 2-0 but then losing to Lionel Messi's Barcelona by the same scoreline.

The Italian giants did not manage a single shot on target against Barca, although Alvaro Morata had three goals disallowed for offside.

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