Predicted Juventus XI: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Chiellini, Asamoah; Pjanic, Khedira, Matuidi; Dybala, Costa, Higuain.
In what is surely a most frightening statistic, Juventus has yet to conceded a Serie A goal in 2018. The only team to find the back of the net has been Tottenham Hotspur, however other Italian clubs have failed to unlock the Juve defense.
However, if there is one team in form that can solve the old lady’s Rubik’s cube, it’s Gennaro Gattuso’s AC Milan.
You’d think that if Juventus were going to have a ‘trip up’ match in this final stretch, it probably already took place as a 12 match win streak came to a halt in a goalless draw against SPAL.
Juventus holds a two point lead over second place Napoli, and Massimiliano Allegri will have surely pressed upon this veteran squad the importance of this fixture. However, standings placement, Cup hopes and dreams, European prospect, all of which disappear from view once the match kicks off.
I feel like we’ve been discussing the disappointing European exit against Arsenal way too much as of late, so I’ll follow Gattuso’s advice and try to move on (sobs internally).
The Rossoneri remain undefeated in their 2018 campaign and have put a six point gap between themselves and Atalanta, securing a spot in the race for Champions League. Currently, Milan have five points to make up on Inter, with Lazio still lingering in 5th if they hope to be playing on the grand stage next season. There is little reason to doubt that prospect. Rino’s men have been playing their hearts out, putting everything they have out onto the pitch. Late winners and a few nail biters have made heroes out of Patrick Cutrone and Andre Silva, both of whom will have to remain on form if there is any hope for Milan to finish strong.
With five straight wins in the bag, Juventus will not be caught sleeping as they did last week against SPAL.
Milan: Conte and Abate out.
Juventus: Cuadrado and Chiellini are out of the squad.
Look, I didn’t want to write that and I hope I’m incredibly wrong. But I try to give my head priority over my heart when it comes to these things. Juventus just has a knack for seeing out the ‘must win’ matches, and with all the media and attention this match has garnered for both sides, a veteran team like Juve isn’t going to go quietly into the night.
That doesn’t mean to say Milan has no chance. I think Gattuso’s men will be up for the fight, as they’ve shown against Roma and Lazio recently. The Rossoneri are a tough, well disciplined, and feisty group who can absolutely stun even the best of squads. Rino has his men fired up and if they can ignore all the media, the hype, the statistics, and just focus on 90 minutes of football, there’s no reason to think Milan can’t come out ahead.
When: Saturday, March 31, 2018
Where: Allianz Stadium, Turin, Italy
Kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. on the East Coast; 11:45 a.m. on the West Coast
How to Watch
Television: RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America (Canada); BT Sport 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport 1 HD Italia, Sky Calcio 1, PremiumSport HD (Italy)
Online/Mobile: beIN SPORTS CONNECT, fuboTV (United States); DAZN Canada, beIN SPORTS CONNECT Canada (Canada); BT Sport Live (United Kingdom); Premium Play, SKY Go Italia (Italy)