GdS: Player battles and precedents – 50 reasons Milan vs. Juventus should be fascinating

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan versus Juventus is often a fixture that doesn’t require much work to generate excitement and anticipation, but Sunday’s game carries a particular added meaning.

Juventus are back at San Siro a few days after losing to Inter in the Italian SuperCup, while Milan returns after their controversial last second defeat against Spezia. The game between Italy’s two biggest clubs will be huge for a lot of reasons, and La Gazzetta dello Sport have picked out 50.

  1. Milan, furious after the Serra inclident, will come out of the tunnel puffing like a bull.
  2. Juve will remember the San Siro defeat in the Super Cup and snort like a bull too.
  3. If Milan fail to win again, after the loss against Spezia, they risk being overtaken by Napoli.
  4. Juventus arrive 8 unbeaten in the league and does not want to stop.
  5. Ibrahimovic in his ‘Adrenaline’ asks himself: “Who will give me the adrenaline that gives me to face Chiellini?”. It could be the last duel between them.
  6. After Arrivabene’s words on the renewals of Perin and De Sciglio, Dybala will look for other friends in the stands. In what could become his stadium.
  7. Theo and Cuadrado, two key men, are back on top and will battle against each other on Milan’s left.
  8. Pioli’s Milan, with 47 goals scored, are the second-best attack in Serie A.
  9. In 2022 only Real Madrid, in the top five league, scored as much as Juve: 12 goals.
  10. Because in the prime time slot the alternatives are “The bride” (TV series), “CSI Las Vegas” (same) and “Avanti un altro” (quiz show).
  11. Juve have the third best defence (21 goals conceded), behind Napoli (15) and Inter (16).
  12. In the defense of Milan Romagnoli should be there, who Allegri really likes.
  13. At one time the ex-Milan boss Allegri coached the Brazilian Ronaldinho.
  14. The ex-Juventus player Pioli trained with the Frenchman Platini.
  15. Giroud could enter the game and make an impact off the bench, having been close to joining Juve in 2022.
  16. Bonucci will not be back on the field San Siro, but might be in the stands.
  17. Tonali returns who, with an average score of Gazzetta (6.68), is the best of all the players expected to start.
  18. Locatelli returns to the stadium where he scored a beautiful goal against Juventus (October 2016).
  19. Locatelli and Tonali are two jewels of Italian football.
  20. Weston McKennie, in great shape, has scored 2 goals in 3 rounds.
  21. The most violent fight involving a team-mate and Ibra was with an American, at Milan: Onyewu. A broken rib.
  22. Ibra wants to dedicate something important to his friend Raiola, who is in hospital.
  23. Juve on Matchday 14 were 7 points from Atalanta and now they are 5 from La Dea.
  24. Milan could have overtaken Inter on Monday and do not want to face them on February 6, 5 points below, with one more match played.
  25. Morata scored all 6 penalties with the Juve shirt, while Milan have missed 8 since the beginning of 2020-21.
  26. Milan is the team that has missed the most penalties in the league (3, Kessie, Ibra, Theo).
  27. Only Vlahovic (75), Immobile (66) and Berardi (65) shot more than Dybala (64).
  28. Only Handanovic (79%) and Ospina (77%) have a higher save rate than Maignan (75%).
  29. Szczesny in the last 10 league games has conceded of what Maignan has: 6 vs.12.
  30. It is the only match of the 23rd day between two teams in the Euro area.
  31. They are the only Italian teams to have challenged each other in a Champions League final: 2003.
  32. There will be Maldini and Nedved in the stands, one raised the Champions League in Manchester, the other skipped the final in tears due to suspension.
  33. No Serie A defender has served more assists than Theo Hernandez: 5.
  34. No one has more dribbles than Leao: 50.
  35. The oldest player of the two squads, Zlatan Ibrahimovic (40) is also the one who has scored the most in the league out of anyone in the two squads: 8 goals.
  36. De Sciglio returns to face Milan, his former club.
  37. Calabria played last start in the derby on 11 November and is almost ready, half a season later.
  38. Rebic has scored 4 goals for Juve in the last 4 league matches.
  39. Milan and Juve plotted for the Super League and then lost at home to Spezia and Empoli.
  40. No defender has created more scoring chances than Cuadrado: 33. Like Biraghi (Fiorentina) and Bastoni (Spezia).
  41. Leao is the best player in the league: 2 goals and 2 assists in the last 4 games.
  42. The referee will wait a few seconds this time before whistling a foul from the edge of the area, so as not to end up with his face in Rebic’s hands.
  43. The best goal of his 5 as a Juventus player for Rabiot was scored against Milan at San Siro (7/7/2020).
  44. The formations at the stadium will be read by the Milanese Imbruttito.
  45. The heel of Bettega to the reverse of Del Piero for Trezeguet, Juve often did good things at San Siro against Milan.
  46. Allegri has denied that Juve win ugly. Of their last 6 victories in the league, only one came by a goal.
  47. Pioli and Allegri, while still young, have coached 22 different teams. From so much experience and so much apprenticeship can be born the stroke of genius.
  48. Diaz and Dybala, the two number 10s, have the grace in their feet, but the physique of a post office employee. They don’t make us feel guilty if we skip the gym.
  49. De Ligt, a compatriot of Van Basten, will try to stop Ibra who, as a boy, was inspired by Van Basten. Ajax triangle.
  50. San Siro, even if dying, remains the most fascinating football theatre in the world.

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