Italian champions Juventus have been hit by a flu epidemic with five players forced to pull out of tomorrow night’s Champions League match against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, defender Alessandro Birindelli, midfielder Gianluca Zambrotta and strikers Marco Di Vaio and Marcelo Salas have all withdrawn from Marcello Lippi’s squad after going down with the flu bug. The absentees meant that Juventus travelled to Old Trafford with just 15 players.

Marcello Lippi’s side were already without their playmaker Alessandro Del Piero due to a thigh injury, while defenders Igor Tudor and Mark Iuliano have also been ruled out.

Juve are second in Champions League group D – two points behind leaders United.