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Allegri unsure over Higuain facing Lazio or Spurs

By Dom Farrell
Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri (second from left) doubts Gonzalo Higuain will be available for the next two games

Turin, March 1: Massimiliano Allegri has cast doubt upon whether Gonzalo Higuain will be fit to return for Juventus' Champions League showdown with Tottenham.

Argentina striker Higuain missed Wednesday's 1-0 win over Atalanta at the Allianz Stadium, a result that secured a 2-0 aggregate victory and a place in the Coppa Italia final.

Miralem Pjanic converted a penalty 15 minutes from time in Higuain's absence and Allegri told Rai Sports his record signing is facing a battle to make Saturday's crunch Serie A trip to Lazio.

The match at Wembley on March 7 could also arrive too soon for the former Real Madrid striker to be involved.

"Higuain is not available right now," Allegri said. "He hasn't trained for a few days and we'll see if he is available on Saturday.

"That is the most important game right now - London and Tottenham can wait. It's not an obsession.

"I realise it's an important game in a marvellous stadium and we want to progress with a good performance on the European stage, but it mustn't be an obsession.

"There are always moments in a season where things go wrong and there are injuries, but we won't waste time crying over spilt milk. We should always thing positive and will always find a way."

Higuain scored both Juventus goals but also smashed a penalty against the crossbar as Spurs were allowed to come from behind and claim a 2-2 draw in Turin.

Wednesday's result against Atalanta kept Juve on course for a fourth consecutive domestic double and Allegri hopes such pedigree will have a bearing on the return against Tottenham.

"When you are a big club, you must combine beautiful football with results. It's a very fine line," he added.

"Over the last few years, Tottenham have had the most prolific attack and the best defence, but haven't won the Premier League.

"That means these statistics don't really count in England, but they do in Italy."

Atalanta were knocked out of the Europa League by Borussia Dortmund last week and now have only Serie A to concentrate upon, with their boss Gian Piero Gasperini furious over the decision to penalise Gianluca Mancini's foul on Blaise Matuidi for Juventus' penalty.

"That penalty was non-existent, so that's a pity," he told Rai Sport.

"Juventus are a great team and very strong, so we caused them severe problems. Defeat doesn't take anything away from the value of this side."

Source: OPTA

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Story first published: Thursday, March 1, 2018, 3:00 [IST]
Other articles published on Mar 1, 2018
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