Juventus chasing history in the Italian Super Cup

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Defending Serie A champions Juventus kick off 2019 with a double header of cup action, and the chance to write another chapter of history in their recent dominance.

Max Allergi’s side face a trip to Bologna on January 12th, in the first leg of their last 16 tie of the Coppa Italia, and then on January 16th they take on AC Milan in the Italian Super Cup final.

The match has already attracted attention, albeit controversial, as the Italian FA have sanctioned the game to be played in Saudi Arabia, at the King Abdullah Sport City Stadium, in Riyadh.

The final will be Juventus’ seventh successive appearance in the one-game competition, however they have not enjoyed their normal ruthlessness in recent finals, with no win since 2015.

Defeats in 2016 to AC Milan and in 2017 to Lazio, will be a huge motivation for the Old Lady of Turin, but a win in Riyadh would be their eight Super Cup title, moving ahead of Milan as the most successful club in the history of the competition.

Allegri has the tournament very seriously during his time at the helm, picking a strong side in all three of his finals at the club and he will be looking to carry their early season form into 2019, with no domestic defeat since April 2018.

Allegri will be without Colombian international Juan Cuadrado, who underwent knee surgery during the Serie A winter break, and the former Chelsea forward is not expected to be back in action until the start of February.

He will be joined on the injury list by defenders Andrea Barzagli and Joao Cancelo, however Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to play in his first ever Italian Super Cup final.

AC Milan, who can become the competition’s leading side if they can upset the form book and win, have injury concerns of the own ahead of the clash.

The Rossoneri will have to do without midfielder Lucas Biglia and defender Mattia Caldara through injury, whilst key midfielder Giacomo Bonaventura is sidelined for the remainder of the season after tearing his cruciate ligament earlier in the campaign.

However, they are likely to include recent signing Lucas Paqueta, after his move from Flamengo, but manager Gennaro Gattuso, who won the competition twice as a player, is expected to do further business this month.

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