Russia’s war in Ukraine has thrust COVID-19 out of the mainstream media, but the virus’ impact is still being felt in the sporting sphere.
On Thursday, Juventus announced that midfielder Manuel Locatelli has tested positive for COVID and is self-isolating.
The midfielder’s positive result comes in the wake of Juventus’ elimination from the Champions League on Wednesday night as they were beaten 3-0 at home by a dogged Villarreal side. It was yet another miserable European night for the Bianconeri, with summer signing Locatelli struggling to make the difference against a compact Yellow Submarine block.
The Italy international was brought off after Gerard Moreno had given the visitors the crucial advantage from 12 yards.
Juventus announce that Manuel Locatelli has tested positive for COVID-19
Juventus confirmed Locatelli’s positive COVID-19 test in an official statement on Thursday: “Juventus Football Club announces that today Manuel Locatelli has tested positive for Covid-19. The player, in accordance with the local health authority, is already self-isolating,” it read.
As a result, Locatelli will miss Sunday’s Serie A clash against bottom of the table Salernitana as Juve attempt to get back on track. Their 15-game unbeaten run in the league is still intact and there’s plenty to play for before the 2021/22 season’s up. The Old Lady are in a great position to secure a top-four spot and claim yet another Coppa Italia crown.
However, Locatelli’s positive result leaves manager Max Allegri in a bit of a predicament for Sunday’s game. With Denis Zakaria and Weston McKennie both injured, the uninspiring pair of Arthur Melo and Adrien Rabiot are his only two fit senior midfield options. Could we see teenager Fabio Miretti earn his first Serie A minutes on Sunday?
That will certainly get Juventini back onside.
Nevertheless, the recent news concerning COVID-19 in Italy has been positive. The country are gradually beginning to cope with the virus and, as a result, the Italian government are planning to lift all domestic COVID-19 measures by the end of March. That means stadia across the country are set to return to full capacity.