Milan vs Juventus by Enzo
After three consecutive defeats and a draw at home against Genoa in Serie A, players of Milan finally improved and recorded quite impressive 4:1 victory away from home against Chievo last Wednesday evening. They simply appeared as much more experienced side and used their chances, while overall the game itself wasn't that one sided one as the final result shows.
Still, that's the ability of stronger clubs, as they took the double lead thanks to two late goals in the first halftime, via Suso in 36th and an own goal in 42nd minute, with Calhanoglu removing all the doubts with the third goal in 55th minute. Even though Birsa temporarily reduced in 61st minute, Kalinic scored another one in 64th minute and sealed that three pointer. Milan is now at eight position, having just a point less than Europa League placed Sampdoria and already nine points less than Champions League placed Lazio, meaning that they desperately need a victory here but would surely be content with a draw as well.
Milan should be lined up in 3-4-2-1 formation with Kalinic as central striker, plus Suso and Calhanoglu as offensive options behind his back. Central defender Leonardo Bonucci (9/0) is supended after getting red card against Genoa, while right back Andrea Conti (2/0) and midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura (7/0) remain sidelined with injuries.
Juventus, on the other side, comes from quite an easy game actually on Wednesday evening, as the side welcomed Spal and recorded also 4:1 victory, without being in need to play up to their full potential. They entered strongly and took the double lead already with goals from Bernardeschi in 14th and Dybala in 22nd minute, while the guests temporarily reduced via Paloschi in 34th minute.
Even though it was just a one goal lead for Juventus, their victory was never in doubt and finally got confirmed with goals from Higuain in 65th and Cuadrado in 70th minute, while the guests were limited to a very passive role. Juventus is now at third position with three points less than Napoli and a point less than second placed Inter, knowing that they can't afford to drop points here and be in bigger deficit in comparison to table leaders.
Juventus should continue in 4-2-3-1 formation with Higuain as central striker, but also with Cuadrado, Dybala and Mandzukic as offensive players. Their coach might rotate since they'll play in Champions League next midweek, but the team will be eager to show their best and get a victory. Offensive Mandzukic gets back into the starting lineup after serving suspension. Injured are central defenders Benedikt Howedes (no performance so far), Medhi Benatia (3/0) and midfielders Blaise Matuidi (8/0) and Stefano Sturaro (3/0).
- Juventus have scored at least 2 goals in 10 of their last 12 matches (Serie A).
- AC Milan have seen under 2.5 goals in 6 of their last 7 home matches against Juventus.
Milan could be threatening in this match, but Juventus remains a favorite in my eyes, maybe even bigger than what the odds suggest. However, I can't see Milan failing to score for fourth consecutive game in front of own fans (Genoa, AEK Athens and Roma), but still see the visiting side as much more complete one, especially in the offense.