Juventus steps up for Champions League showdown against Spurs

Juventus trained yesterday ahead of the first leg of their last 16 clash against Tottenham in the Champions League.

The two teams will meet at the Allianz Stadium today evening having both qualified from the Group Stages.

Tottenham stormed through as winners of a tough group that consisted of Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL while Juventus came second to Barcelona in their group.

The Serie A side are anticipating a difficult affair and stepped up their preparations ahead of the clash.

All their stars were out on show as manager Massimiliano Allegri took charge of a session at their Vinovo training centre yesterday morning.

Paulo Dybala, who has scored 17 goals in all competitions this season but none in Europe, took part and could be in contention to feature today evening.

The Argentine is a key player for Juventus but has been out with a hamstring injury since early January and Allegri will be hopeful he will be ready to return to action against Tottenham.

Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino holds Dybala in high regard and oddly admitted he also hopes he will be available to play.

He told Rai Sport: ‘I think Dybala will recover and I hope he does, because I think it’s always nice to play against the best in the world.

‘I put Dybala in that category, because he is a special talent and seeing him on the pitch is wonderful, even if he might cause your team a few problems.’

One Argentine the Juve boss will certainly be able to call upon is Gonzalo Higuain. The forward has been in sensational form of late, netting six times in his last four matches.

Higuain also trained yesterday and participated in some light stretching exercises as well as a passing drill.

The spirit in the Juve camp appeared to be high ahead of the match with Stefano Sturaro, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Alex Sandro all snapped laughing and joking around.

Andrea Barzagli did not take part in the session and trained separately after reporting irritation in his right calf muscle.

The defender is expected to sit out of the tie along with Juan Cuadrado and Blaise Matuidi. Douglas Costa did train and tried an acrobatic overhead kick during the session, but is also set to miss out.