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Ronaldo on bench as Juve warm up for Atletico against Frosinone

AFP  |  Milan 

is set for a rare start on the bench as Juventus host struggling Frosinone on Friday looking to pull 14 points clear in with an eye towards next week's trip to Atletico

Portuguese star brought his tally to 20 goals for Juventus in all competitions last weekend in a 3-0 win over Sassuolo.

But the 34-year-old will start on the bench for just the second time this season before the former Real returns to the Spanish capital next week.

returns to the starting line-up, forming an attacking trident alongside and

Massimiliano Allegri's defensive problems have been eased with trio Andrea Barzagli, and back training. Juventus Chiellini is expected to return on Friday.

Second-placed Napoli dropped points last weekend with a goalless draw against Fiorentina and face a potentially tricky test at home against Torino.

Walter Mazzarri's Torino are four points off the places. Napoli will be without for the first time since the former having sealed his move to club Dalian Yifang.

takes on the captain's role and insisted motivation remained high despite Juventus' charge towards an eighth consecutive league title.

"Juventus haven't sapped our motivation, we knew it would be hard to keep up with them," said Insigne.

"We know they're a great team, but we're no worse than them.

"The championship is still long. We left some points on the road that we deserved, but we certainly do not give up."

- Inter in turmoil -


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Meanwhile, third-placed Inter Milan, nine points behind Napoli, are in turmoil as they host Sampdoria days after stripping star forward of the captain's armband.

Icardi's contractual situation, with his current deal expiring in 2021, has become an increasingly divisive issue between club bosses and the player's wife Wanda Nara, who is also his agent.

The forward hit back by refusing to travel for their round of 32 first-leg game at Rapid on Thursday and is uncertain to play against his former club Sampdoria, who are ninth, on Sunday.

"It was a difficult and painful decision because we know his worth," said

"It was done exclusively for the good of Inter. There are some things concerning the that had to be sorted." The uncertainty over Icardi, who scored 29 goals last season, could prove problematic as Spalletti tries to secure football next season.

Inter are just four points ahead of city rivals AC Milan who travel to Atalanta. Atalanta, Roma and are all one point behind AC Milan.

The clash in Bergamo will be one for fourth place, the final berth, which Roma will also be targeting at home against Bologna, and at Genoa. Roma claimed a 2-1 Champions League last 16, first-leg win over on Tuesday with teenage star scoring both goals.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, February 14 2019. 10:00 IST
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