AC Milan - Juventus Preview: Injury-ravaged Rossoneri face reigning champions
Massimiliano Allegri has more than a few concerns ahead of this encounter with the Bianconeri, and given the visitors' record on the road this season, it is not going to be easy
By Craig Turnbull
De Sciglio, Yepes, Mexes, Constant
Montolivo, De Jong, Emanuelson
Boateng, El Shaarawy, Bojan
Barzagli, Bonucci, Caceres
Isla, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah
AC Milan are expected to be without a number of key players for the clash against the league leaders as they look to recover from their disappointing start to the season.
A glance back at the team which lined-up when they met back in February tells its own story. A summer of upheaval at San Siro has done little to help the Rossoneri, who currently find themselves languishing in 12th place in Serie A.
Philippe Mexes is expected to be the only survivor in defence from that match nine months ago, with centre-back Thiago Silva now at Paris Saint-Germain and Daniele Bonera unavailable.
Defenders Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini are sidelined which means young full-back Mattia De Sciglio and Guinean Kevin Constant continue at the back for Massimiliano Allegri's side.
Nigel de Jong is expected to play alongside Riccardo Montolivo and Urby Emanuelson in the centre of the park, while the hosts continue with Kevin-Prince Boateng, Stephan El Shaarawy and Bojan upfront.
Brazil striker Alexandre Pato, who is rumoured to be unhappy at the club, is a doubt for this match while Robinho is again expected to start on the bench.
Juventus head into the clash boosted by their dismantling of Champions League holders Chelsea. The Bianconeri are four points clear at the top of the Serie A table and have yet to lose on their travels this season.
Coach Antonio Conte has no real injury concerns either, and though Giorgio Chiellini picked up a knock against the Blues, he is expected to recover in time for Sunday's encounter.
Mauricio Isla could replace Stephan Lichtsteiner in a bid to freshen up the side, while Sebastian Giovinco, who scored against Chelsea as a substitute, may get the opportunity to start here.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- AC Milan lost six times already this season, this equals their total for the whole of the previous campaign.
- Kevin-Prince Boateng (pictured, right) has attempted 42 shots on goal this season but has yet to find the net. Incredibly, Stephan El Shaarawy has had the same amount of efforts and has netted 10 times.
- Milan have won three and lost four of their seven home games this term in Serie A.
- Juventus have been scoring for fun in recent weeks. In their last four matches they have struck 13 times.
- The Bianconeri have a very strong away record. From their six matches on the road they have won five and drawn one while are also the joint-highest goalscorers away from home with 16.
- Juve are unbeaten in their last three trips to the San Siro.
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Top 3 Predictions
AC Milan 2-1 Juventus
- 18.87 %
AC Milan 0-2 Juventus
- 18.63 %
AC Milan 1-2 Juventus
- 9.2 %
|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||AC Milan 0 - Ajax 0||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Livorno 2 - AC Milan 2||ITA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Catania 1 - AC Milan 3||ITA1|
|Nov 26, 2013||Celtic 0 - AC Milan 3||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||AC Milan 1 - Genoa 1||ITA1|
|2||Mattia De Sciglio||Defender|
|34||Nigel De Jong||Midfielder|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
|Stephan El Shaarawy|
Arguably the one positive to come out of Milan's disappointing campaign. Has displayed a maturity which belies his years often being the one to dig Massimiliano Allegri's men out of a hole by scoring some crucial goals. Will be up against an experienced Juve backline and this will be a real test of his ability but one he can pass with flying colours.
It is difficult to find superlatives which have not been used for this man. Confident, assured on the ball, neat and tidy in possession, always seems to have that extra yard of space which no one else has. He may be coming towards the end of his career, but he is still arguably the Bianconeri's most important player. Oh yes, and he is not so bad at set-pieces either.
Both teams will be in confident mood after their midweek heriocs but Antonio Conte's men have yet to be defeated away from home this term and, given the problems that the Rossoneri have been having all season, it looks as though that will continue on Sunday at San Siro.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed