AC Milan face Juventus on Sunday evening in a mouthwatering Serie A clash. The hosts sit top of the table whilst the Old Lady are four points back in third place. Stefano Pioli’s side won both league clashes last season and have been beaten just once in nine fixtures against Max Allegri’s side.
AC Milan Form
It’s been a very strong start to this season for Milan. In the league, it’s seven wins and one loss in eight fixtures and they sit at the summit of Serie A. Their only loss was a 5-1 mauling at the hands of their city rivals, Inter Milan in round four. They’ve gone six unbeaten in all competitions since then, including two draws in the UEFA Champions League.
A 0-0 home draw vs Newcastle saw a strong performance before three league wins on the bounce, including 2-0 at home vs Lazio. A 0-0 draw followed in Germany at Dortmund as they missed three ‘big chances’. Prior to the FIFA break, a heavily rotated XI eked out a 1-0 win at Genoa thanks to an 87th-minute winner. They saw out the match with Olivier Giroud deputising in goal after Mike Maignan’s red card.
AC Milan Team News
Pioli has a depleted squad for this match. Mike Maignan and Theo Hernandez are both suspended and backup goalkeeper Marco Sportiello is ruled out. In means third-choice Antonio Mirante is set to start this key clash. Alessandro Florenzi may have to cover at left-back.
Aside from that, Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Rade Krunic are ruled out in midfield. Ismael Bennacer has had a setback and is also a long way from a return in the engine room. Christian Pulisic’s late winner at Genoa should earn him a start on the right wing.
AC Milan Motivation
Considering their squad is so stretched, Milan may consider a draw to be a solid result. They can’t afford to open up and expose their veteran goalkeeper or their makeshift defence.
Pioli’s side may cede possession in periods and play on the break instead. They also have a massive tie on Wednesday at PSG which may prove a distraction.
It’s been a steady start to the season for the Old Lady. Their eight league matches have brought 17 points and just one loss. Their lack of European football is helping their cause so far. After a 1-1 home draw with Bologna, they won successive matches in rounds three and four including 3-1 at home vs Lazio.
A shock 4-2 defeat followed as Sassuolo after some goalkeeping errors late in the match. They’ve since kept three clean sheets in a row. They beat Lecce 1-0 at home, drew 0-0 at Atalanta, and beat Torino 2-0 in the Turin derby. Two second-half goals did the trip after a poor first half saw them put up just 0.38 xG.
Juventus Team News
Juve are without two suspended players due to off-field offences. Paul Pogba and Nicolo Fagioli are both banned and will play no part in the coming months. The fullback areas have fewer options with Mattia De Sciglio still injured and Alex Sandro also ruled out.
In the back three, Danilo is set to miss this key match and the injury-prone Federico Chiesa is a doubt. Daniele Rugani may come into the XI in Danilo’s place. The options in attack have improved from the Torino win with Dusan Vlahovic set to be available after a back problem. Arkadiusz Milik scored off the bench in the last match but is set to remain an impact substitute here.
Allegri is not an attacking coach but he may see Milan as being ‘there for the taking’. With so many opposition injuries, he could set his side up to attack and try to win in Milano.
A draw isn’t a bad result on paper, but it doesn’t close the gap to teams around them at the top of Serie A.
Milan have won 7 of their 8 Serie A matches this season.
Milan are 5 matches unbeaten vs Juventus (WDDWW)
The last 4 meetings between these sides have seen Under 2.5 goals.
Juventus have kept 3 clean sheets in a row.
Juventus have won to nil in 3 of their last 5 away Serie A matches.
This match is unpredictable due to some key injuries or absentees. Milan looks fragile at the back and they should concede at least once. I see this match ending in one point apiece with a score draw representing great value.
Best Bet: Draw at 3.25
Alternative Bet: Juventus win/draw double chance + Over 1.5 goals at 2.40
Value Bet: Tie with Goals at 4.35