Football

Ajax midfielder de Jong in doubt for Juventus match

Ajax Amsterdam midfielder Frenkie de Jong's participation in their Champions League clash against Juventus on Wednesday morning (Singapore time) is in doubt, after he went off following just 22 minutes of the Dutch league game against Excelsior Rotterdam yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Coach Erik ten Hag said it was too early to say whether de Jong would miss the quarter-final, second leg in Turin, where Ajax will be on the backfoot after a 1-1 draw in last week's first leg.

De Jong, who is joining Barcelona next season, had an impressive showing in last week's clash in Amsterdam.

He was taken off after feeling a hamstring strain after just 22 minutes of Ajax's 6-2 win over Excelsior, during which Klass-Jan Huntelaar netted a hat-trick, while Dusan Tadic (two) and Kasper Dolberg also scored.

"He felt something wrong with his hamstring and so we took him off as a precaution," ten Hag said afterwards.

"We were already 1-0 up, so there was no point taking any risks."

De Jong, 21, had also been injured the match before the first leg but played a full 90 minutes against Juventus last Wednesday.

Ajax remain on top of the table on goal difference, after PSV Eindhoven came from behind to defeat struggling De Graafschap 2-1 last night.

Meanwhile, Juventus slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat at lowly SPAL on Saturday to put their Serie A title celebrations on hold.

Their eighth consecutive title triumph could be confirmed this morning, though, if Napoli failed to beat Chievo.

Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli, 37, announced after the loss to SPAL that he will retire from football at the end of the season. - REUTERS

Football