Juventus will be looking to maintain their strong home record against AC Milan as they welcome the Rossoneri for a big showdown on Saturday evening.
It’s set to be the biggest game of this round, and both teams have been in excellent form in the league. Juventus are set to take on Milan in the Coppa Italia final later this season, and so far have already beaten the Rossoneri when they earned a 2-0 win at the Stadio San Siro earlier in this campaign.
So far, the only team to have beaten Juventus at the Allianz Stadium is Lazio. Milan haven’t beaten Juventus in Turin since 2011, when, ironically perhaps, it was all decided by current Diavolo boss Gennaro Gattuso. In addition, Massimiliano Allegri was the man in charge, and successfully steered the Rossoneri to the Scudetto. To date, Milan are the last side other than Juventus to clinch the top prize in Italy, and as things stand, La Vecchia Signora are looking on course to make it an unprecedented seventh this May.
However, Napoli aren’t giving up so easily. The Partenopei have thrown everything into winning the Scudetto this term, and that includes effectively giving up opportunities in the Europa League and the Coppa Italia. Furthermore, Juventus have a tough quarter-finals double header with none other than Real Madrid coming up next week, meaning that Allegri will have to manage his squad well for this game. Giorgio Chiellini is expected to start despite suffering an injury on international duty, but both Juan Cuadrado and Federico Bernadeschi are still out, which leaves them short of two potential attacking options.
As such, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain, and Mario Mandzukic are expected to all feature in some capacity here. Both Higuain and Mandzukic were in action over the international hiatus, and Allegri will hope that fatigue hasn’t set in. As for Milan, they’re unbeaten in their last ten fixtures, with wins in eight of them, including all of their last five. Although they were dumped out of the Europa League by Arsenal, Gattuso’s side have been quite impressive in Serie A this term and will be hoping to mount a late challenge for a top four spot.
Considering the hefty sums they spent this summer, that at least has to be the minimum. It’s set to be a very interesting reunion for Leonardo Bonucci and the Juventus fans, as this will be his first visit back to the Allianz Stadium since leaving in a shock transfer last summer.
Another source of intrigue is the battle between the “two Gianluigis”, with Buffon on one end taking on Donnarumma, who literally is young enough to be his son (Buffon at 40 versus the 19-year-old rising star).
Juventus dropped two points in a surprise draw with struggling side SPAL, so with Napoli facing floundering Sassuolo, the Bianconeri could find themselves back in second before kick-off. However, they’ve maintained ten straight clean sheets and will be looking to extend that fantastic record – and end Milan’s run – as these two sides lock horns in what should be a mouth-watering clash on Saturday evening.