As a result of the postponement of this past weekend’s Serie A games, AC Milan and Juventus will most likely have a bit more energy in their legs, taking on each other in the Coppa Italia semi-final return leg. Considering what is at stake, it should be a very interesting game to watch.
The first game between the two ended 1-1, as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a late equaliser for the Bianconeri at the San Siro. Quite surprisingly, the Rossoneri were on top for most of the game and really deserved more than a draw, but the away side’s perseverance punished them at the end.
It remains to be seen if the game will be played with open doors, which for now seems to be the case. However, the decision has been heavily criticised given the current Coronavirus outbreak in the country, while schools in the region are still closed due to the matter. Therefore, we will have to wait and see.
Stefano Pioli will have to deal with four notable absentees, namely Gigio Donnarumma, Samu Castillejo, Theo Hernandez and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The latter three will be serving a one-game suspension tomorrow evening, meaning the manager will have to find a solution to manage without them.
According to the latest reports, Davide Calabria will replace the Frenchman on the left flank, rather than Diego Laxalt. The latter returned early from a loan spell at Torino, with the Rossoneri in need of a left-back. However, given how important this game is, Calabria could get the chance instead despite it being the wrong side.
Further up the pitch, Lucas Paqueta is in pole position to replace Castillejo while Rafael Leao should take the place of Ibrahimovic. In other words, Ante Rebic will keep his spot on the flank, hoping to get on the scoresheet just as he did in the first leg. Other than, Milan’s line-up will be the usual one.
As for Juventus, Douglas Costa and Sami Khedira are both back in the squad but should start on the bench, with Maurizio Sarri taking no risks. Gigi Buffon is suffering from some back pain and could thus miss out, but if he makes it, then he will play from the first minute.
Cristiano Ronaldo could potentially also be at risk, but not because of his own physical condition. Unfortunately, per the latest developments, his mother has suffered a stroke and he’s expected to travel to Madeira to see her. Therefore, it remains to be seen if he will be back in time for the game.
Juventus (4-3-3): Buffon; Danilo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Cuadrado, Cristiano Ronaldo, Dybala.
Milan (4-2-3-1): Begovic; Conti, Kjaer (Gabbia), Romagnoli, Calabria; Kessiè, Bennacer; Paquetà, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Rafael Leao.
Although Milan did very well in the first leg, it’s safe to say that Juventus haven’t exactly been the easiest opponents for the San Siro side in recent history, especially at the Allianz Stadium. Therefore, it will be a very tough game for the away side. Take a look at the top three facts and stats below.
- Juventus have won their last 7 home matches against AC Milan in all competitions.
- Juventus have been drawing at half time and winning at full time in 5 of their last 6 home matches against AC Milan in all competitions.
- Juventus are undefeated in 10 of their last 11 matches (Coppa Italia).
As mentioned, it certainly won’t be easy for Pioli’s men. However, considering that Juventus have struggled a bit as of late, another good performance by the Rossoneri shouldn’t be ruled out. However, it remains to be seen if that will be good enough to advance to the final.
Juventus 2-1 AC Milan (3-2 aggregate)