Tuesday, 18 December, 2018

Ronaldo returns to Spain for Juventus, Valencia fixture

19 Sep 2018, 00:40 ( 3 Months ago)

DF-Xinhua Report
FC Juventus' Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his first goal during the Serie A soccer match between FC Juventus and Sassuolo in Turin, Italy, Sept. 16, 2018. FC Juventus won 2-1. File Photo Xinhua.

There is no doubt over who will be the center of attention when Valencia return to the Champions League after a two-year absence on Wednesday night at home to Juventus.

   Cristiano Ronaldo returns to Spain just two months after leaving Real Madrid to sign for Juventus and just three days after scoring his first goals for his new club in a 2-1 win at home against Sassuolo on Sunday.

   That win leaves the Italian champions top of Serie A with 12 points from their first four games and looking to be on track for yet another Italian title.

   Coach Massimilliano Allegri rested veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini, Miralem Pjanic, Juan Cuadrado and Douglas Costa at the weekend and all should start in Mestalla along with former Valencia defender Joao Cancelo.

   Valencia finished fourth in La Liga last season, but have struggled at the start of the new campaign.

   Saturday's 0-0 draw at home to Real Betis leaves Marcelino Garcia's side without a win in their first four matches of the season and with just three goals in their favor.

   Marcelino will be without central midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia on Wednesday after the club confirmed he suffered a twisted ankle against Betis. Francis Coquelin is also out as he puts the finishing touches to his recovery from knee surgery.

   That means Daniel Wass and Dani Parejo will probably play in central midfield with Marcelino perhaps tempted to also use Carlos Soler in the middle of the park to help guard against Juventus' pace on the break.

   A group that also includes Manchester United leaves little room for slip-ups for either side and starting with three points is vital for Valencia, although Ronaldo's return means they may just feel like guests at their own party. 

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