The central duo returns for Barcelona before the Juventus clash

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The centrals Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo have been named in the call for the day of the last match of the group stage of the Champions League against Juventus.

La Blaugrana has recently suffered a small defensive crisis, losing several centrals due to injury. Veteran Gerard Piqué was the latest victim, sustaining an ACL injury that is expected to keep him out for most of the season.

Piqué suffered an anterior cruciate ligament injury against Atlético de Madrid

For a time, manager Ronald Koeman stayed with Clement Lenglet as his only available top center back. Young Oscar Mingueza had to move quickly into the starting eleven, while midfielder Frenkie de Jong also replaced the defense.

But now it seems that the bottom line concerns are coming to an end, with Samuel Umtiti and Ronald Araujo returning to action against Juventus.

Araujo has been absent since the reverse game at Allianz Stadium in October, missing eight games with a hamstring problem.

Araujo has left his mark this season

Meanwhile, Umtiti has yet to appear with new boss Koeman, having been sidelined with a knee injury. The World Champion has seen his career at the Camp Nou ruined by injuries, which has led him to fall in the hierarchical order behind Piqué and Lenglet.

It’s unclear if either of them will be fit enough to appear, but Koeman will welcome the return of the two defenders.

However, there is no place for French winger Ousmane Dembélé, who is missing due to an unspecified injury. The former Borussia Dortmund player opened the scoring in the first meeting between the two sides.

Barcelona comes into play knowing that avoiding defeat will seal a first place in Group G.

The Catalan giants have had an impeccable European campaign so far, winning five of five, scoring 16 and conceding just two. If they can limit Juventus to just two goals or less, they will finish the group stage on top.

However, all eyes will be on the reunion between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who will meet for the first time since the Portuguese superstar left Real Madrid in 2018.

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