x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Amauri can be key for Juventus

The Juventus forward will be aiming to show the controversy surrounding his international future has not deprived him of his eye for goal in the Italian Cup semi-final.

Amauri, the Juventus forward, will be aiming to show the controversy surrounding his international future has not deprived him of his eye for goal in the Italian Cup semi-final first leg at Lazio tonight. The Brazilian, 28, was in lethal form in the first half of the season, but has only scored once in 2009, leading to speculation that controversy over whether he should play for Italy or Brazil is proving a distraction.

He is applying for an Italian passport and would be eligible to play for the world champions as he has never represented his homeland. The Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri is confident the question is not affecting the player, who should partner Vincenzo Iaquinta tonight. "It might be something he thinks about in his free time, but on the field he is the same as always," he said. "He isn't distracted. This player has fought all his life to get where he is at Juventus."

Inter Milan head to Sampdoria tomorrow in the other semi-final, with the return legs for both ties due to be played next month. * Reuters