Since the return of Giorgio Chiellini, Matthijs de Ligt is no longer certain of a base place at Juventus. His teammate Leonardo Bonucci is supporting the Orange International in the run-up to the Champions League match with Olympique Lyon.

"He is young and talented. He got a heavy burden on his shoulder that he had to stand there immediately due to the injury of Chiellini," Bonucci tells L'Équipe about De Ligt on Tuesday. "But he has all the qualities to become one of the best defenders in the coming years."

De Ligt regularly had a base place with Juventus this season, but did not appear anymore in the last two games of his team. In the duel with Brescia, in which Chiellini made his comeback after a serious injury, he even sat on the bench for ninety minutes and was passed in favor of Daniele Rugani.

Bonucci does notice during training that De Ligt is improving. "I have the responsibility to help the young players," said the experienced defender. "Communication is a lot better with De Ligt and that is of great importance for his growth."

Matthijs de Ligt and his teammates enjoy themselves during the training of Juventus. (Photo: Pro Shots)

De Ligt is expected to be back in base against Lyon

Bonucci, on the other hand, is also pleased with the return of Chiellini, who tore his cruciate ligament at the end of August. "It is great for Juventus that Chiellini is back. He is a symbol and an excellent leader from whom we all learn so much."

Together with Bonucci, De Ligt against Lyon is expected to form the central defense duo at Juventus and Chiellini will get a rest. The 32-year-old Italian does expect 'The Old Lady' to have a hard time in France.

"We are a favorite, but the matches are won on the pitch. With a view to the return, it would be useful for us to score in Lyon, but they have a lot of young players who will want to prove themselves," concludes Bonucci.

The first match between Olympique Lyon and Juventus in the eighth finals of the Champions League starts on Wednesday at 9 p.m.

View the program in the Champions League