Juventus vs AC Milan: It’s a big clash between two Italian bosses who are in very different stages of their careers.
Juve beat Cagliari Calcio on Tuesday night to record their 26th league victory of the campaign and they are an incredible 18 points clear of second-placed Napoli heading into the final straight.
Goals from Leonardo Bonucci and Moise Kean saw Juve record a 2-0 win away to Cagliari on Tuesday night, but the result was marred by chants of racist abuse from sections of the stadium.
Kean was the subject of chants after scoring Juve’s second of the night, while it is understood that midfielder Blaise Matuidithreatened to leave the field after suffering abuse during the Serie A clash.
The Italian champions left with all three points and it was once again another terrific performance from Kean, who has now scored four times in his last four Serie A appearances. Injuries in the final third of the field have helped the teenager, but he has fully taken advantage to show his class.
A record of 26 wins, three draws and just one defeat from 30 league matches this season is absolutely staggering. Napoli have been unable to get anywhere near the Old Lady this time around, and an eighth straight Serie A crown will be heading to Turin at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.
There will be no Coppa Italia, but Juve are desperate for Champions League success this season and will travel to Ajax for the first leg of their quarter-final next week. Then comes a trip to SPAL in the league before welcoming Ajax for the second leg of their last-eight tie on April 16.
It will be very interesting to see how head coach Massimiliano Allegri manages his squad over the next few weeks, particularly as a number of players have been struggling with injury. As the league is done and dusted, there is absolutely no reason why Allegri should take any unnecessary risks.
There is something special about matches between Juve and Milan, but the Old Lady have not lost to the Red and Blacks in Serie A since October 2016, while they recorded a 2-0 win in the reverse fixture earlier this season.
Juve would take a defeat this weekend if it meant beating Ajax next week, but there will be a lot of pride at stake on Saturday night as two of the most famous clubs in Italian football prepare to lock horns once again.
Recent form: WWWLWW
Recent form (all competitions): WWWLWW
The points might not be too important for Juve this weekend, but the same cannot be said for Milan, who will be desperate to return to winning ways following a difficult period over the last few weeks.
Indeed, Gennaro Gattuso‘s side lost back-to-back games against Inter Milan and Sampdoria either side of the international break before being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Udinese on Tuesday night.
Milan are still fourth in the table, but just four points separate eighth-placed Torino from the final Champions League position, meaning that the Red and Blacks are vulnerable to the teams below them.
Only Napoli and Juve have lost fewer league games than Milan this season, but Gattuso’s team have drawn 10 of their 30 matches, which is perhaps too many for a side looking for a top-three finish.
Milan have not finished higher than sixth in Italy’s top flight since the 2012-13 campaign, which does seem incredible when considering the size of the club. A top-four position is a genuine possibility this season, but a defeat this weekend would make it just one win from their last five in Serie A.
Milan have not beaten Juve in an away league match since March 2011, which is an indication of the size of the task facing the visitors this weekend. As mentioned, though, the Old Lady will have more than one eye on next week’s Champions League clash with Ajax.
In Krzysztof Piatek, meanwhile, Milan have a striker who has scored nine times in 12 appearances since a January arrival from Genoa. The 23-year-old has been a serious upgrade on Gonzalo Higuain and will be looking to fire his side past the Italian champions this weekend.
Recent form: DWWLLD
Match facts and stats: Juventus vs Milan
- Juventus have won their last 7 matches against AC Milan in all competitions
- The Bianconeri have also kept a clean sheet in their last 3 matches versus the Rossoneri across all comps
- Juve have lost just one of their last 34 Serie A games and have yet to lose at home so far this season
- Milan have picked up a red card in three of their last six meetings against Juventus
- Juventus are literally just two wins away from clinching the Scudetto and the title could be decided this weekend if they win and Napoli lose to Genoa, as Juventus will be on 84 points vs. Napoli’s 63.
Team news: Juventus vs Milan
Juventus: Cristiano Ronaldo is still out with a hamstring injury, so will play no part in this game. Other notable absentees for the visitors include Andrea Barzagli, Juan Cuadrado, Paulo Dybala, Sami Khedira, and Douglas Costa.
Milan: Meanwhile, Milan will be missing first-choice shot-stopper Gianluigi Donnarummaafter he suffered a thigh injury during the one-all draw against Udinese. Midfielder Lucas Paqueta was also injured during that game and thus is unavaliable for the trip to Turin. However, Franck Kessie,who has been struggling with a knee injury, has returned to training and could be declared fit for the upcoming trip to the Allianz Stadium on Saturday.