Higuain looks to end goal drought in Turin derby


September 23, 2017

MILAN, Spain (AP):

Juventus forward Gonzalo Higuain has had a relatively quiet start to the season, scoring only twice in seven matches so far. His next chance to break out of that slump will come against city rival Torino today.

"Higuain has the complete confidence of his teammates, coach, club and fans," Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri said. "He's played two or three matches without scoring, but that happens.

"He played better already against Fiorentina on Wednesday, attacking the area in a better way."

Juventus spent an Italian record €90 million (then US$99 million) to sign Higuain from Napoli in 2016. The Argentine responded with 32 goals in his first season.

However, this season it has been Paulo Dybala who is scoring the goals and taking the headlines, while Higuain's confidence appears to have taken a hit after being dropped from Argentina's national team.

Former Juventus forward Fabrizio Ravanelli said the 29-year-old Higuain should be left out of the Derby Della Mole.

"He's really confused. He looks like a shadow of the Higuain we know," Ravanelli told Radio Sportiva. "Allegri continuing to play him doesn't help him because at this moment he needs tranquility.

"I'd leave him out for the derby. I think he's currently a burden for Juve, apart from the goals he's scored he hasn't been the Gonzalo we know."

Higuain's teammates don't necessarily agree.

"For us, Gonzalo is a certainty," Juventus defender Giorgio Chiellini said. "He's one of the cornerstones on which Juventus victories rest on."

Higuain scored three goals in two matches against Torino last season, including a stoppage-time equaliser, and opposing coach Sinisa Mihajlovic knows his side cannot afford to underestimate him.