Cristiano Ronaldo: Why has Juventus star been DROPPED for Udinese conflict?

CRISTIANO RONALDO is set to be a big-name absentee from the Juventus starting XI when they face Udinese.

The Italian champions welcome lowly Udinese to Allianz Park tonight looking to maintain their unbeaten record.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side are 16 points clear following their win over second-placed Napoli last weekend.

However their season – and Allegri’s future – could rest on the result of their Champions League last 16 second-leg tie with Atletico Madrid in midweek.

Ronaldo’s demotion to the Juventus bench is in preparation for Tuesday’s tie for which the Spanish side lead 2-0 on aggregate.

The Italian champions welcome lowly Udinese to Allianz Park tonight looking to maintain their unbeaten record.

Massimiliano Allegri’s side are 16 points clear following their win over second-placed Napoli last weekend.

However their season – and Allegri’s future – could rest on the result of their Champions League last 16 second-leg tie with Atletico Madrid in midweek.

Ronaldo’s demotion to the Juventus bench is in preparation for Tuesday’s tie for which the Spanish side lead 2-0 on aggregate.

“Mandzukic trained separately, as did Dybala. We’ll see (on Friday) after training. (Moise) Kean has a great chance to play, say 99 per cent.

“There is a possibility (Andrea) Barzagli plays, as he is as fresh as a rose. When the old horses return, they run and they run well.”

Last weekend’s match-winner Emre Can should retain his place in midfield, although Miralem Pjanic is suspended.

Rodrigo Bentacur should fill the void left by the Bosnian in midfield alongside Blaise Matuidi.

Allegri’s comments strongly suggest 19-year-old Moise Kean will make his fifth appearance of the season.

His inclusion should see Mario Mandzukic adopt more of a central role with Ronaldo on the bench.

Daniele Rugani and Andrea Barzagli fill in for the usual duo of Bonucci and Chellini.

Juventus predicted lineup vs Udinese: Szczesny; De Sciglio, Rufani, Barzagli, Spinazzola; Bentancur, Matuidi, Can; Kean, Dybala, Mandzukic

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