14th May ‘2010
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan, Italy
It’s a shame for the Serie A that a match of this magnitude holds no importance in deciding the Scudetto. Since the Calciopoli scandal that rocked Italian football, these two clubs have not shone up to the standards expected of them.
The Milan-Juventus rivalry is probably the weakest among the three involving Milan, Juventus and Inter. Not that the Juventus-Milan rivalry isn’t big, but the other two are notably bigger, which sometimes casts a shadow over this affair. Milan supporters do not possess the same feeling of hatred towards Juventus that Inter supporters do. This particular rivalry is one that is built more on a foundation of respect.
Both, the Milan and Juventus camps, know that this match holds no rigor in terms of the Serie A competition this season and the season has been a disappointment for both sets of followers – a disaster for Juventus. Pride and bragging rights will be at stake, though, as both clubs try to end on a high for their supporters.
From JUVENTUS’s corner:
Current Form: LDWLWL
League position: 7th, 55 points
Juventus is a club in turmoil at the moment. Never before has a Juventus team been beaten so many times in a single campaign and considering they still have to play away to great rivals AC Milan, situation might just get worse.
The squad is aging, and the players coming through aren’t capable of matching the same standard as those they are hoping to replace. It is a telling fact that Juve’s main attacking outlet is still Alessandro Del Piero – a player who was written off by many two seasons ago has been the club’s top scorer since then.
La Vecchia Signora have managed to win only twice in their last 6 games and have lost thrice including a home defeat to Parma last week. It is evident that the players are so low on morale and confidence, they aren’t performing anywhere near to their capabilities.
TheHardTackle’s Player to Watch Out:
Alessandro Del Piero (Juventus)
The bianconeri captain has been the only player in the Juventus squad who has the right to hold his head high, even after such a disastrous season. He has been the most important player up front and will no doubt give his all for the final game of the season.
From MILAN’s corner:
Current Form: LWLLDW
League position: 3rd, 67 points
Milan, who have been ‘out of sorts’ since their humiliating exit from the Champions League in mid-march, would be craving to give their supporters something to cheer about by ending on a winning note at the San Siro. The Rossoneri are going through a rough patch which has seen them drop out of the race for the Scudetto and fight for third position in the league table.
The return of Pato to the line-up could be pivotal for the red and blacks when they take on the wounded Old Lady from Turin. However, Leonardo has a tough task ahead of him in order to mentally prepare his Brazilian duo of Ronaldinho and Pato for the weekend’s match. Both the players will be gutted and will need motivation after coming to terms with their surprise exclusion from the Brazilian squad for the World Cup in South Africa.
With their city rivals Inter set to celebrate another league success on the same day, a loss to Juventus would further compound the pressure on Milan’s under-fire coach Leonardo.
TheHardTackle’s Player to Watch Out:
Ronaldinho (AC Milan)
With his omission from the Brazilian squad for South Africa, this might be the last time he steps out on the playing field in Milan colours. He still has an year left in his contract but there are strong chances of him moving to Brazil to end his footballing career, as his international career looks all but over.
TheHardTackle’s Blast from the Past:
Juventus 0-3 AC Milan
Milan demolished Juventus 3-0 in Turin earlier this season thanks to Alessandro Nesta and a Ronaldinho brace. Juventus showed aggression in bits and pieces but were simply outclassed and outperformed by a comparatively young Milan side.
AC Milan 1-1 Juventus
THT predicts this match to lack the necessary passion and motivation. With the future of players and managers in doubt, this could well be just a testimonial match for half of the men involved.