Two of the giants of European football meet in Italy on Sunday evening, as AC Milan host Juventus at 19:45. Below I preview this gargantuan clash which could have major implications on the title race.
AC Milan are in the middle of an injury crisis, with Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Samuel Chukwueze, Noah Okafor, Rade Krunic, Pierre Kalulu and Ismael Bennacer all currently out. Their issues worsened when first choice goalkeeper Mike Maignan was shown a straight red card against Genoa, meaning he will miss this match – although it is unlikely that Olivier Giroud will start in goal.
Juventus also have a few injury problems, with Alex Sandro, Dusan Vlahovic and Danilo all suffering with issues. Paul Pogba remains suspended.
AC Milan are 6/5 to win this match, while Juventus are the underdogs at 12/5. A draw can be backed at 11/5, while BTTS Yes and BTTS No are both 5/6.
Draw @ 11/5
It’s 1st vs 3rd in Serie A and both of these teams are well in the title race. Given champions Napoli have dropped off slightly this term, it looks like a wide open division this season, and both of these sides have aspirations of lifting the Coppa Campioni d’Italia come May.
Milan currently lead the way and took top spot with a 1-0 win over Genoa before the international break. But they come up against a stubborn Juventus team that is also in good form, having lost just once this season.
They secured an impressive point on the road at Atalanta in their last away match, and followed it up with a comfortable win over Torino. Massimiliano Allegri may not have them firing on all cylinders right now, but he has turned them back into a competitive outfit at the top end of the division.
This tight encounter is one I simply can’t call. I believe a draw is the most likely outcome, given the stubbornness of both defences.
AC Milan 0-0 Juventus @ 15/2
Milan have relied on a remarkable defence over the last two months, keeping five clean sheets in their last six matches in all competitions and conceding just once since that 5-1 defeat to Inter Milan.
They have conceded eight goals in their eight matches so far, but five of them came in that derby day humiliation. Since then, they’ve had the best defence in the league. Meanwhile Juventus have kept two clean sheets on the bounce, and secured a 0-0 draw in their last away game. They’ve only conceded six goals so far this season, so expect this one to be a tense and tight affair.
Under 2.5 goals is 4/6, which is backable, but a bit too short for my liking. Instead we can pick out 0-0 as a correct scoreline, which is a distinct possibility given these two love to defend. At 15/2, it’s a fair price.