Sunday February 18 2018
Toro-Juve team news: Buffon benched

Juventus’ Gigi Buffon will start today’s Derby della Mole against Torino on the bench.

Instead, Wojciech Szczesny is in line to face Walter Mazzarri’s side at the Stadio Olimpico, with Old Lady Coach Max Allegri saying the change was ‘planned’ and that his captain is being ‘rested.’

This is far from the first time the 40-year-old has not featured for the Bianconeri in Serie A this season.

Aside from a muscular injury ruling him out of action for much of December and January, Buffon has started six of Juventus’ Serie A matches so far this campaign among the substitutes.

Although he has started every one of Juve’s Champions League matches he has been avaiblable for, Allegri’s decision to ommit Buffon for such an important fixture as today’s derby has prompted renewed specultion over his future.

With the former Italy number one’s contract set to expire this summer, Gazzetta dello Sport points out that the iconic goalkeeper may now have played his last ever Derby della Mole.

Elswhere for Juve, Mario Mandzukic is unavailable with flu, Blaise Matuidi is still injured and Federico Bernardeschi is a doubt with muscle fatigue.

There are reports Alex Sandro could play in a more advanced role, with Stefano Sturaro and Rodrigo Bentancur in contention for a starting place in Allegri’s midfield – although Claudio Marchisio is favourite.

Stefan Liechsteiner, having shaken off a recent problem, will vye with Mattia de Sciglio for a spot on the right of Juve’s backline.

Paulo Dybala is back from injury but will most likely have to settle for a place on the bench.

Toro have a mostly clean bill of health going into today’s derby. The only possible absentees for the match are M’Baye Niang, Nicolas Burdisso and Tomas Rincon

Andrea Belotti, back among the goals last week after a lengthy drought, will lead the line up front as Walter Mazzarri looks to build on his fine start to life as Toro boss.

Probable Line-ups [from Gazzetta dello Sport]

Torino: Sirigu, De Silvestri, N'Koulou, Burdisso, Molinaro, Rincon, Iago Falque, Baselli, Obi, Ansaldi, Belotti

Juventus: Szczesny, De Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro, Khedira, Pjanic, Marchisio, Douglas Costa, Higuain, Bernardeschi

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