AC Milan - Juventus Preview: Top two in Serie A face off in Scudetto showdown
The visitors have the chance to leapfrog the Rossoneri to the top of the standings as they are just one point behind their opponents, despite having played one game less
By Adam Scime
Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Mesbah
Nocerino, Van Bommel, Muntari
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Pepe
AC Milan have looked in fine form going into this match but the biggest blow for coach Massimiliano Allegri will be that their appeal to have Zlatan Ibrahimovic's suspension reduced was turned down, meaning they will be without their star striker for one more Serie A match.
The Sweden international's absence should be covered by Alexandre Pato, who is likely to be given the nod ahead of Maxi Lopez or Stephan El Shaarawy to form a Brazilian partnership with Robinho up front. Kevin-Prince Boateng and Clarence Seedorf are still sidelined with thigh and hamstring knocks respectively, so Urby Emanuelson is likely to retain his place 'in the hole' behind the two strikers. Ex-Bianconero Alberto Aquilani will not be able to face his former team due to injury.
One player who could return is Alessandro Nesta, the veteran resumed training this week and may feature at centre-back, but Philippe Mexes should also be available if the Italian is not declared match fit.
On the other side of the pitch, Juventus coach Antonio Conte has relatively few selection issues. Young midfielder Luca Marrone is not available, but Simone Pepe seems to have recovered and is set to feature on the left side of a five-man midfield with Andrea Pirlo, who will be taking on his old team-mates, once again pulling the strings in the very centre of the pitch.
Up front, Fabio Quagliarella, who scored during the 3-1 win over Catania last weekend, looks favoured to join Mirko Vucinic in attack with top-scorer Alessandro Matri having to settle for a place on the bench.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- AC Milan have the most prolific attack in Serie A this season, having scored 48 goals, while Juventus have the best defence, conceding only 14.
- Since their 2-1 first-leg Coppa Italia loss to Juventus, Milan have won three games in a row against Udinese, Arsenal and Cesena.
- Milan have let in just five goals at home this season in Serie A and lost just once in front of their own fans (a 1-0 defeat to Inter).
- Juventus are the only remaining unbeaten side in Serie A during the 2011-12 campaign (W13 D10 L0).
- The Bianconeri have only scored 12 times in 11 away matches this season, with a record of five wins and six draws on the road in the league.
- Juventus have won on their past two trips to San Siro to face Allegri's side in official matches.
Top 3 Predictions
Milan 1-2 Juventus
- 18.68 %
Milan 2-0 Juventus
- 13.23 %
Milan 0-2 Juventus
- 10.91 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||07-Oct-2013||Juventus 3 - Milan 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||22-Apr-2013||Juventus 1 - Milan 0|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||10-Jan-2013||Juventus 2 - Milan 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||26-Nov-2012||Milan 1 - Juventus 0|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||21-Mar-2012||Juventus 2 - Milan 2|
|17-Dec-2013||Milan 2 - AS Roma 2||SR-A|
|12-Dec-2013||Milan 0 - Ajax 0||UCL|
|07-Dec-2013||Livorno 2 - Milan 2||SR-A|
|01-Dec-2013||Catania 1 - Milan 3||SR-A|
|27-Nov-2013||Celtic 0 - Milan 3||UCL|
|17||Mark van Bommel||Midfielder|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
|-||Alessandro Del Piero||Striker|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed