MX23RW : Thursday, August 18 04:40:12| >> :120:15270:15270:
[monks data]
Apr 6, 2019 at 5pm UK at Allianz Stadium (Torino)

2-1

Dybala (60' pen.), Kean (84')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Piatek (39')

Preview: Juventus vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole provides the team news, predicted lineups and a full preview of Saturday's Serie A clash between Juventus and AC Milan.

Runaway leaders Juventus will be looking to move onto 84 points in Serie A when they welcome fourth-placed AC Milan to Turin on Saturday for what is shaping up to be a fascinating affair.

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.


Juventus

Moise Kean in action for Juventus on March 30, 2019© Reuters

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 Matuidi threatened 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


AC Milan

AC Milan's Franck Kessie pictured in January 2019© Reuters

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


Team News

Juventus striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring against Sassuolo on February 10, 2019© Reuters

Cristiano Ronaldo will once again miss out for Juve as the attacker battles back from a thigh problem, but it is understood that the Portuguese will be fit to face Ajax next week.

Paulo Dybala is once again a doubt through a slight injury, but Mario Mandzukic should be available after recovering from the illness that forced him to miss the Cagliari clash.

Douglas Costa is unlikely to be risked as he recovers from a hamstring problem, though, while Juan Cuadrado will miss out again with a long-term knee injury and Sami Khedira is not yet available following a heart procedure.

As a result, Kean will keep his spot in the final third, while Federico Bernardeschi and Emre Can should both start for the Italian champions.

As for Milan, both Gianluigi Donnarumma and Lucas Paqueta were forced off against Udinese last time out and are not expected to play, with Pepe Reina on standby to start between the sticks.

Piatek will once again lead the line with support from Suso and Hakan Calhanoglu, while Tiemoue Bakayoko is expected to start as Gattuso looks to bolster his midfield.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernadeschi, Kean, Mandzukic

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Reina; Calabria, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Biglia, Bakayoko, Kessie; Calhanoglu, Piatek, Suso


Head To Head

Juve recorded a 2-0 victory in the reverse match in Milan earlier this season.

The Old Lady ran out 3-1 winners in the corresponding clash last term, meanwhile, and have not actually lost a league game against Milan since October 2016.

What's more, Juve are unbeaten at home to Milan in Serie A since March 2011, when now I Rossoneri head coach Gattuso scored the only goal of the match.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Juventus 1-1 AC Milan

Juve will be thinking about next week's clash with Ajax and are once again missing key players for this match. We fancy Milan to secure a share of the spoils, which is a result that both managers would probably take ahead of kickoff.



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Cristiano Ronaldo and Giorgio Chiellini dispute a disallowed goal against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League on March 12, 2019.
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Napoli11005233
2Juventus11003033
3AC Milan11004223
4Atalanta BCAtalanta11002023
5Fiorentina11003213
6Inter Milan11002113
7Lazio11002113
8Torino11002113
9Roma11001013
10SpeziaSpezia11001013
11Cremonese100123-10
12Bologna100112-10
13Lecce100112-10
14Monza100112-10
15Empoli100101-10
16Salernitana100101-10
17Udinese100124-20
18Sampdoria100102-20
19Hellas VeronaHellas Verona100125-30
20SassuoloSassuolo100103-30

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