AC Milan take on Serie A favourites Juventus on Saturday in the pick of the games from this weekend’s domestic action in Italy, with the Rossoneri hoping to revive their hopes for a finish in the European spots.

 

Sixth placed AC Milan play hosts at the San Siro as they welcome an old foe in one of the most eagerly anticipated ties of the Serie A calendar. The Milanese giants lost the reverse fixture in Turin courtesy of a solitary Paulo Dybala goal.

Juventus have shaken off their early season jitters to once again become a formidable force in Italy. In fact, the Bianconeri are yet to lose a league game this year. Massimiliano Allegri’s men have come back to recover more than a twelve-point deficit this season against fellow title contenders Roma and Napoli.

Milan are languishing in 6th after a loss to Atalanta in their last away game, which was followed by two successive draws with Chievo and Lazio. It looks like the Europa League is the only realistic target they can aim for this season after failing to pick up points against the weaker teams in the league.

At the moment, a six point gap with city rivals Inter Milan separates them from the Europa League spot and a seemingly unbridgeable 14-point gap separates them from the all important Champions League spot which they were so eager to clinch at the start of the season.

Allegri, however, is far from taking a fifth consecutive Scudetto win for granted.

Speaking in his pre-match press conference, the Italian said (via ESPNFC): “The Scudetto is all to play for. As things stand we’ve achieved nothing. I’ve heard it said that we already have the title in our back pockets, but that is not true.

“To win a game that will bring us closer to winning the Scudetto, we will need to produce a great performance.

“We have to maintain that psychological edge because we know Napoli won’t give us an inch.”

Lineups

AC Milan 

Probable starting XI (4-4-2): Donnarumma; Abate, Alex, Romagnoli, Antonelli; Honda, Kucka, Montolivo, Bonaventura; Bacca, Balotelli.

A.C. Milan 3-5-2 football formation

Juventus

Probable starting XI (3-5-2): Buffon; Rugani, Bonucci, Barzagli; Cuadrado, Sturaro, Marchisio, Pogba, Evra; Morata, Mandzukic.

Juventus 3-4-3 football formation

Key Facts

  • There hasn’t been a 0-0 draw between these two sides since 2005 in the league.
  • Out of the 193 games played between them, Juve have won 72 while AC Milan have won 58.
  • Dybala, who scored the winner in the reverse fixture, is set to miss out through injury.
  • Buffon has kept 10 clean sheets against AC Milan in the league throughout his career.
  • The only AC Milan player in their likely starting lineup to have ever scored a goal against Juventus is Mario Balotelli.

Prediction

AC Milan 0 – 2 Juventus

The lacklustre Milan midfield will fall short of quality against the likes of Pogba and Marchisio. The Milan backline will also have a hard time containing Morata, Mandzukic and Cuadrado. Although the home side will make it difficult for the Serie A champions, the away side’s sheer quality should see them register a win.

Odds (Paddy Power)

  • AC Milan 14/5
  • Draw 11/5
  • Juventus 21/20

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