Later this evening, Juventus and Milan will take on each other in the 35th round of Serie A. Both are fighting for a top-four finish and tonight’s clash will be very important for the following three games, seeing as the team winning would get a nice boost confidence-wise and with regards to the standings.
The Rossoneri managed to beat Benevento last time out by a scoreline of two goals to nil, despite missing several clear-cut chances. The important thing was getting back to winning ways, though, after the disappointing performances against Sassuolo and Lazio which saw them drop out of the top four.
As for the Bianconeri, they were heading for a huge blow against Udinese but in a matter of just a few minutes – late in the game as well – Cristiano Ronaldo turned things around with a brace. And as a result of this, the game this evening will be crucial for both teams and will decide a lot.
There are no excuses for either of the sides today as there aren’t any major absences to take into consideration. Milan have seemingly left the injury struggles behind them and although Samu Castillejo is out due to suspension, they couldn’t have a better squad available for the game.
The same goes for Juventus as they have no injuries and no suspensions, which should make the clash very interesting indeed. As opposed to last time out, Andrea Pirlo will make quite a few changes to the starting XI. Juan Cuadrado will move down to the right-back spot, with Danilo switching to the other side of the defence.
It should still be a 4-4-2 formation, with Federico Chiesa and Weston McKennie acting as the wide men in the midfield. Alvaro Morata will replace Paulo Dybala in the front two, starting alongside Ronaldo. As for Milan, there are some interesting changes to note as well.
Davide Calabria and Simon Kjaer will be back from start after getting some rest against Benevento. It’s an important boost for Milan as the two are among their most important players and they need them for big games like this. In addition to that, Brahim Diaz is set for a starting spot in the attacking trio.
The Real Madrid loanee will stay close to Zlatan Ibrahimovic throughout the game, with Stefano Pioli hoping that they can link up well. Hakan Calhanoglu will move out to the left and it remains to be seen if this tactical switch will have the desired effect for the Rossoneri.
Probable Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Diaz, Calhanoglu; Ibrahimovic.
Probable Juventus XI (4-4-2): Szcszesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Danilo; Chiesa, Bentancur, Rabiot, McKennie; Morata, Ronaldo.
- Juventus have won 15 Serie A TIM meetings against AC Milan since 2011/12 (D1 L3), against no other side have they won more in this period (15 wins also against Lazio and Udinese, but with one more game played).
- AC Milan have gained at least 69 points in a single Serie A TIM campaign for the first time since 2012/13 (72 – at the end of the season) – in 2012/13, they had 65 points after 35 games.
- AC Milan lost their last away league game and could fail to win in two such matches in a row for the first time since February 2020, in their last two before the lockdown.
- No side have gained more points from trailing situations than Juventus in Serie A TIM this season (17), on the other hand AC Milan have lost the fewest once taking the lead in the games (five).
- Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more than one goal on nine occasions in Serie A TIM this season: the Juventus striker last registered more in a single season in 2014/15 (12), while Erling Haaland (10) is the only to have done so more often this term in the Top-5 European Leagues.
- Theo Hernández is the first AC Milan defender to have scored 5+ goals and delivered 5+ assists in a single Serie A TIM campaign since 2004/05 (when started Opta collecting this data) – he has been involved in 19 total goals in the competition (11 goals, 8 assists), overtaking Ignazio Abate (18) as the AC Milan defender with the most goal involvements in this period.
Taking this season into consideration, those stats don’t mean as much as they would have done normally. Juventus may be the favourites, but they also lost to Benevento at Allianz Stadium not too long ago. Therefore, this game will be extremely hard to call, though the home side have an advantage.
We can expect it to be a tight affair, more so than the reverse fixture as Milan now have a proper starting XI to field. Having said that, one goal could be enough for the Bianconeri to snatch the three points and get closer to Champions League.
Juventus 1-0 AC Milan