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Matchday XXVI Preview Milan v Juventus

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The two teams that defined Serie A in my childhood have taken opposite trajectories the past few seasons.

I know it is not the popular opinion, but the reason I mentioned the current problems was because the sad reality is that we still have them in spades. Set pieces, injuries, and lack of balance have not changed and I don't think a match against Conte's immovable object is going to help any of those things. But if this Milan has proved anything, it is that they tend to do things the hard way. While the crucial match against didn't turn out a win, it showed capability and resolve but can they do the same against Juventus?

As much as I hate to say this, you have to respect Juventus, and it's not because of Conte or Pirlo. Both of them have irked me for some time now. I instead admire them for the way they rebuilt the team, yes they have spent money, gobs of it, but they built from back to front. They solidified the back, then then spine, then the flanks and when that was as it should be they bought attackers. The result a team who defends first who can now finally mix it up in attack. What did that get them specifically, a trip to Europa League, so Milan has them beat in that regard, but a third straight Scudetto is surely in the cards.

Milan needs to approach this match with some tactical nous, and I am not sure that is all that possible. Balotelli may not be fit come Sunday, and while Juventus is missing Vidal, it is Milan who loses this battle. Conte can slide a myriad of midfielders depending on what he wants, and while Seedorf has Pazzo, the next striker on the list is lacking! It will remain to be seen how he deploys the 4-2-3-1 and while the Atletico match didn't provide the result the balance and team cohesion was one of the best matches under the Dutchmen. If he attempts to stand toe to toe with Juventus then I think this one will not end well, the Napoli match showed this team can't survive in open play for 90 minutes, so a bit of negative football needs to be deployed. So the question becomes is Seedorf a realist or an idealist and the lineup will give us that answer.

Two season's prior Milan and Juventus waged some serious battles, and the midfield was always the key. If Milan could frustrate Juventus's reference point in Pirlo the match disconnected and Milan could play and succeed. If Seedorf plays a dual pivot and sticks NDJ on Pirlo and Monty to roam free things will not end well. Nothing against Monty but just think for a moment what that means for balance and chances of success. I understand this was not the most optimistic or hopeful of previews, but considering the result against Napoli it is important to put the right perspective on this one. Maybe you can give it a better spin in the comments!