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Ronaldo starts as Juventus make four changes for Ajax clash

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Cristiano Ronaldo returns to the Juventus starting line-up for Wednesday’s Champions League quarter-final, first leg against Ajax in Amsterdam.


The Italian club’s coach Massimiliano Allegri had confirmed on Tuesday that Ronaldo would be back for the game at the Johan Cruyff Arena after recovering from a thigh injury suffered playing for Portugal last month.

He has not appeared for Juve since netting a hat-trick in their 3-0 win over Atletico Madrid last month which took them through to the quarter-finals 3-2 on aggregate, missing four Serie A games in the process.

That is one of four changes from the Juve side that started last Saturday’s 2-1 win over AC Milan in Serie A, with Joao Cancelo, Miralem Pjanic and Blaise Matuidi also coming in.

Paulo Dybala is one of those dropping to the bench, with 19-year-old sensation Moise Kean also a substitute.

Veteran defender Giorgio Chiellini is out injured for the two-time European Cup winners, who defeated Ajax on penalties in the 1996 final.

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag makes one change to his team compared to the starting line-up in their 4-1 win away to holders Real Madrid in the last 16, second leg.

Right-back Noussair Mazraoui is suspended, so Joel Veltman replaces him.

Starting line-ups for the Champions League quarter-final, first leg between Ajax and Juventus at the Johan Cruyff Arena on Wednesday (kick-off 1900 GMT):

Ajax (4-3-3)

Andre Onana; Joel Veltman, Matthijs de Ligt (capt), Daley Blind, Nicolas Tagliafico; Donny van de Beek, Lasse Schoene, Frenkie de Jong; Hakim Ziyech, Dusan Tadic, David Neres

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Coach: Erik ten Hag (NED)

Juventus (4-3-3)

Wojciech Szczesny; Joao Cancelo, Leonardo Bonucci, Daniele Rugani, Alex Sandro; Rodrigo Bentancur, Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matuidi; Federico Bernardeschi, Mario Mandzukic (capt), Cristiano Ronaldo

Coach: Massimiliano Allegri (ITA)

Referee: Carlos del Cerro Grande (ESP)

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