Juventus - AC Milan Preview: Coppa Italia final place the prize as Conte's men lead from the first leg
The Turin side hold all the cards going into the return fixture set in Juventus Stadium after a 2-1 first leg victory at San Siro back in early February
By Adam Scime
Caceres, Bonucci, Chiellini
L'steiner, Padoin, Pirlo, Marchisio, De Ceglie
Borriello, Del Piero
Bonera, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Antonini
Aquilani, Van Bommel, Nocerino
Ibrahimovic, El Shaarawy
Juventus have one foot in the Coppa Italia final after a 2-1 win at San Siro in the first leg and should be full of confidence after their convincing 5-0 triumph over Fiorentina in Serie A.
Coach Antonio Conte looks set to go back to a 3-5-2 formation with Giorgio Chiellini recovering from injury to line-up alongside Leonardo Bonucci and Martin Caceres, who scored both goals for the Old Lady in the first leg, while Andrea Barzagli is still nursing a calf injury. Meanwhile Stephan Lichtsteiner, suspended for the club's next Serie A match versus Inter, and Paolo De Ceglie are pushed up into midfield.
Bianconeri talisman Alessandro Del Piero is in contention for a place in the starting XI as striker Marco Borriello, playmaker Andrea Pirlo and goalkeeper Marco Storari are almost certain to face their former team from the starting whistle.
Needing to overturn the aggregate deficit, Rossoneri boss Massimiliano Allegri welcomes back centre-back Philippe Mexes while veterans Clarence Seedorf and Gennaro Gattuso could also make appearances at some point. However, although defender Alessandro Nesta and attacking midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng are back in training, neither is likely to participate on Tuesday.
Italy international Alberto Aquilani, who has made three substitute appearances in a row for the club, should be handed a first XI berth against his former team-mates while Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy and Maxi Lopez are all vying for a spot in attack alongside star striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus' 5-0 win over Fiorentina on the weekend ended a run of four consecutive draws in the league.
- The Bianconeri are tied with Roma for the most Coppa Italia trophies (nine), but have not won the competition since 1995.
- Del Piero's only goal this season has come in the Coppa Italia, during the quarter-final win over Roma
- AC Milan were the last side in this fixture to score three goals in a single match, when they won 3-0 back in May 2010.
- Aquilani, now on loan at Milan from Liverpool, played on loan at Juventus last season, making 34 appearances for the Turin club.
- In three competitive meetings this season, Allegri's side have failed to defeat Juventus, drawing one and losing two so far.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 0-2 AC Milan
- 20.57 %
Juventus 2-0 AC Milan
- 17.05 %
Juventus 2-1 AC Milan
- 10.28 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 6, 2013||Juventus 3 - AC Milan 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 21, 2013||Juventus 1 - AC Milan 0|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||Jan 9, 2013||Juventus 2 - AC Milan 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 25, 2012||AC Milan 1 - Juventus 0|
|Italy - Coppa Italia (ITAC)||Mar 20, 2012||Juventus 2 - AC Milan 2|
|Dec 11, 2013||Galatasaray 1 - Juventus 0||UCL|
|Dec 6, 2013||Bologna 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Juventus 1 - Udinese 0||ITA1|
|Nov 27, 2013||Juventus 3 - FC Copenhagen 1||UCL|
|Nov 24, 2013||Livorno 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|-||Alessandro Del Piero||Striker|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
|8||Gennaro Ivan Gattuso||Midfielder|
The Juventus side's star defender returns to the starting XI after sitting out the past few games and his ability to shut down Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the Rossoneri's attacks will be pivotal to the Bianconeri's chances of earning a place in the domestic cup final.
Creativity will be something Milan need if they want to open up coach Conte's rigid defence and Aquilani will be required to not only put his foot on the ball in midfield and control the tempo, but also find some incisive passes to try and put Juventus on the back foot.
AC Milan will feel aggrieved as their last clash in Serie A with Juventus had plenty of controversy regarding Sulley Muntari's 'ghost goal' after his effort appeared to have crossed the line before Gianluigi Buffon's save. However, with the Bianconeri holding a significant away victory already, the Scudetto holders will have to come out and attack and that could play into the hosts' hands.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed