Preview: Serie A Round 12 – AC Milan vs. Juventus

By Isak Möller -

Coming off three consecutive wins in the league, AC Milan will look to continue their run on Sunday evening, although it won’t be easy as Juventus will visit the San Siro. 

In fact, Since 2010/11 when they won their last league title, AC Milan have lost five of their eight home league games against Juventus (W2 D1). With that said, Gattuso’s men are certainly the underdogs, and not only because of previous results. 

The Rossoneri are struggling with several injuries to key players, including the likes of Biglia, Bonaventura, Caldara and Musacchio. This has forced Gattuso to make several changes to the team, although it seems pretty certain which eleven players will start tomorrow. 

TEAM NEWS

It’s expected that Gattuso will switch back to the 4-4-2 formation, having used the 3-5-2 against Real Betis in Europa League on Thursday evening. In goal, Gigio Donnarumma will return to play from start after sitting out the EL clash. 

Calabria will most likely slot in at the right-back position, having recovered from his injury issues. Since Musacchio is out injured, Zapata will form the duo with Romagnoli in the centre, while Rodriguez will keep his spot on the left flank. 

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 31: Christian Kouame of Genoa CFC competes for the ball with Tiemoue Bakayoko and Franck Kessie (L) of AC Milan during the serie A match between AC Milan and Genoa CFC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 31, 2018 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)

In the middle of the pitch, Suso will look to build on his great run of form. In addition to him, Bakayoko will once again start alongside Kessie after performing well in the last couple of games. Laxalt will complete the midfield four, starting on the left. 

Up front, we will not be seeing the successful Cutrone and Higuain duo, as the former is struggling with an ankle injury. Instead, it’s been reported that Castillejo will start alongside Higuain, the former Juventus man. 

Likely AC Milan XI (4-4-2): Donnarumma; Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Suso, Kessie, Bakayoko, Laxalt; Higuain, Castillejo. 

THE OPPONENTS

As expected, given the players they brought in this summer, Juventus have enjoyed a good start to their season, winning all of their games except one (1-1 draw vs. Genoa). Surprisingly, reliable sources report that Bonucci, who played for Milan last year, won’t play from start tomorrow. Instead, Benatia will replace him. 

Likely Juventus XI (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cancelo, Benatia, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Ronaldo, Mandzukic. 

LAST TIME OUT

As mentioned, Milan drew their last game 1-1, facing Real Betis away from home. Suso scored the equaliser in the second half, after Lo Celso gave the hosts the lead early on. On the other hand, the Rossoneri did win their last league game, thanks to a 97th-minute winner from Romagnoli against Udinese. 

Just like Milan, Juve’s last game was also in a European competition, namely the Champions League. After taking the lead through Ronaldo in the second half, the Bianconeri completely collapsed as Man Utd score two goals within four minutes to win the game. Now, in the league, they beat Cagliari 3-1 last weekend. 

KEY PLAYERS

Just like last time, Suso will be the danger man for the Rossoneri. Having registered the most assist in the top five European leagues, the Spaniard will be looking to add more to his tally, and the return of Higuain up front could be a decisive factor. Should he have a good game, then the Rossoneri will have a good chance of getting something out of the game. 

Milan Suso Higuain

For Juventus, we’re not going to pick Ronaldo, but rather Dybala. In fact, the Argentinian has scored five goals and provided two assists in eight league appearances against AC Milan, making him a real threat for the red and black defence. 

PREDICTION

Given Milan’s current situation, as well as Juventus’, the logical move would be to predict a loss for the Rossoneri, although it would have to be a narrow one. However, with Gattuso’s men really not having anything to lose, clearly being the underdogs, a draw is definitely possible. 

AC Milan 1-1 Juventus

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