Juventus head coach Massimiliano Allegri has confirmed that Paul Pogba is in contention to feature in Thursday night’s Europa League contest with Sporting CP.
The Bianconeri will face off with the Portuguese side in their quarter-final first-leg encounter at the Allianz Stadium, looking to further their European ambitions.
The former Manchester United man has cut a nearly forgotten figure since joining the Italian giants on a free transfer last summer following a series of injuries.
Pogba’s second coming at Juventus has not gone according to plan, having made just two cameo appearances in the Serie A, touching grass in consecutive games against Torino and AS Roma.
Having just returned from another recent injury setback, the France International could make only his third appearance for the club on the continental stage.
“He is summoned – we will see tomorrow if he can play,” Allegri said in his pre-match press conference (via Foot Mercato). “It is important that he did some training with the team without stopping.”
Pogba is not 100% fit for action, so his return to action could be delayed again, with his compatriot Adrien Rabiot, Manuel Locatelli and Fabio Miretti holding down the fort.
However, Allegri insists he is counting on the Frenchman for the remainder of the campaign as the Old Lady continues to fight for silverware to cap off a troubled season.
“If we can have Pogba for the end of the season, it would be very important,” Allegri added.
“Let’s not forget that it is still a long season with nine league matches and perhaps seven Italian Cup along with the Europa League matches.”
Despite camping under the spotlight for all the wrong reasons this season, Juventus could end the season on a high with the Coppa Italia, Europa League and a top-four finish still to fight for.
Last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Lazio that set them back eight points behind fourth-placed AC Milan with nine games left to play came after a 1-1 Coppa Italia semi-final draw against Inter Milan.
Allegri will be keen for his side to rediscover their previous late-season form.
But Thursday night’s European encounter will not be a walk in the park, with Sporting brimming with confidence after knocking out Premier League leaders Arsenal in the last round.