Ronaldo on track to face Ajax in Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo has not played for Juventus since the international break but is progressing well as Ajax wait on the horizon next week.

Published : Apr 05, 2019 20:01 IST

Juventus are confident Cristiano Ronaldo will be fit to face Ajax in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final next week.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner scored a hat-trick as Juve completed a stunning turnaround from two goals down to win 3-2 on aggregate against Atletico Madrid in the previous round.

However, Ronaldo suffered a hamstring injury during Portugal's Euro 2020 qualifier against Serbia at the end of last month.

He sat out Juve's Serie A wins against Empoli and Cagliari – results that mean Massimiliano Allegri's side are on the cusp of an eighth consecutive Serie A title heading into Saturday's showdown with AC Milan.

Although that keenly anticipated clash is likely to come too soon for Ronaldo, Allegri reported promising progress from his star attacker.

"Cristiano seems better," he told a pre-match news conference. "There are good signs with five days to go until Ajax-Juve."

Victory over the Rossoneri at the Allianz Stadium will be enough to confirm Juventus as champions if Napoli lose at home to Genoa the following day.

"When the Scudetto is won we should celebrate," Allegri said. "Winning eight titles in a row isn't easy.

"Napoli are doing what they should be to win it, but we are doing something extraordinary.

"Milan are growing a lot and Juve-Milan is always a balanced match. It will be a difficult and exciting game and we must do well in order to prepare for the Champions League."

He added: "I don't think that the Scudetto will be decided this weekend. It will be 15 intense days ahead of us, but the team is going well and we are ready to play the final part of the season."

With an eye on the Ajax showdown, Allegri confirmed veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini is likely to be rested this weekend.

Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala are available to lead the attack in Ronaldo's absence, while Sami Khedira faces a late fitness test and Douglas Costa is targeting a midweek return after two months on the sidelines with a hamstring problem.

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