This Sunday’s face-off between Juventus and Milan by all means can be considered a final; both teams are fighting to reach the Champions League and, with four games to the end, a defeat can be fatal and make the losing team slip down the table. Atalanta, Juventus and Milan are all currently occupying the second position, but Napoli is only two points away and Lazio five (with one more match to play). It has never happened in Serie A history that at this point of the season so many teams were fighting to reach the Champions League. The Rossoneri seem to have the worse schedule: Juventus, Torino, Cagliari and Atalanta. However, the time for excuses is over and it’s now time for them to show if they’re really worth it or everything good done so far will simply fade away.
Since 2011/12 Juventus won 15 Serie A games against Milan (with 1 draw and 3 victories for Milan) and they have done better against no other teams (15 victories against Lazio and Udinese as well). Juventus are currently undefeated by Milan at the Juventus Stadium, winning all the last 9 Serie A home games, they did better only against Foggia, with a 11 winning home games streak. The Bianconeri have scored at least two goals in 13 home games in this season and no other team has done better, but on the other hand they also took at least one goal in all the last 10 Serie A games. The last time that Milan gained at least 69 points in a single Serie A season happened in 2012/13, when they reached 72 points at the end of the season. Milan lost their last away game and the last time they lost two consecutive away games happened last year in February, right before the stop due to the Corona virus.
Unlike the home game against Juventus back in January, this time Pioli will have almost the whole team available for the Turin game, with only Maldini (injury) and Castillejo (suspension) out. The main doubts regard the centre back that will play alongside Kjaer, one between Tomori and Romagnoli, and the left wing, with Rebic that will be probably chosen over Leao. Calabria, who scored in the home defeat against the Bianconeri, will be back from the first minute. Mandzukic has recovered but he will sit on the bench, with the rest of the attack composed as always by Ibrahimovic, Saelemaekers and Calhanoglu.
Chiesa, who scored a double in San Siro, seems to have recovered from the injury and he will probably start on the left wing. The starting line that Pirlo will choose is not sure yet, but Morata will presumably start alongside Ronaldo instead of Dybala, who will start from the bench. The midfield should be composed by Rabiot and one between Arthur and Bentancur, while in the defence Bonucci can be chosen instead of Chiellini. If Pirlo will choose to play McKennie on the midfield, Cuadrado will play as right back, putting Danilo on the bench.
Juventus lineup (4-4-2): Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Morata, Cristiano Ronaldo. Coach: Pirlo
Milan lineup (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Çalhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic. Coach: Pioli