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May 9, 2021 at 7.45pm UK
AC MilanAC Milan

Chiesa (53'), Chiellini (57')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Diaz (45+1'), Rebic (78'), Tomori (82')
Diaz (59'), Saelemaekers (76')

Preview: Juventus vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Juventus vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between Juventus and AC Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

After both sides were left trailing in the wake of the new Serie A champions, inconsistent pair Juventus and AC Milan meet on Sunday, with only a top four place left to fight for.

Following Inter's coronation last weekend, both the club they deposed as Scudetto holders and their Rossoneri rivals are locked together on points, as missing out on the Champions League remains a real possibility.

Match preview

Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo welcomes his former club to the Allianz Stadium in this weekend's late Sunday kickoff with his future still on the line, as the Bianconeri are yet to secure a top-four finish in Serie A - an absolute minimum requirement from his first season in charge.

Recent results have left third-placed Juve locked on 69 points with Atalanta and Milan going into the weekend's action, while Napoli and Lazio continue to lurk close behind.

The Coppa Italia finalists, who face Atalanta in the cup decider later this month, were narrow 2-1 winners last time out in the league, against mid-table Udinese. Pirlo and company were indebted to yet another Cristiano Ronaldo brace - both goals coming in the final 10 minutes - as the Capocannoniere leader orchestrated their comeback after the Friulani had taken a surprise lead early on.

Ronaldo has now scored more than one goal on nine separate occasions in Serie A this season and the age-defying Portuguese superstar last registered more multiples back in 2014-15 (with 12 doubles or trebles for Real Madrid), while only Erling Haaland has done so more often throughout the top five European Leagues this term.

While his team's away form continues to be patchy, Juventus cannot be counted against on home soil this term, as they are second only to new champions Inter in the 'home only' standings, having returned with maximum points from 13 of 17 road trips so far.

Not only that, but the Turin giants have won each of their last nine Serie A home matches against Sunday's opponents Milan and put the first significant chink in the Winter Champions' armour back in January, by defeating the Rossoneri 3-1 at San Siro.

As Milan had lost back-to-back games before last weekend's 2-0 success against relegation-threatened Benevento, head coach Stefano Pioli's position was being called into question - seemingly an unthinkable proposition just a few weeks ago.

The Rossoneri have faded badly in 2021 - slipping lamely out of Europe to Manchester United and now drifting perilously close to missing out on an apparently certain top-four finish.

A succession of setbacks at San Siro - most recently versus Napoli and Sassuolo - which meant that Milan had picked up only 11 points at home in the calendar year may have been ended with a regulation victory provided by the goals of Theo Hernandez and Hakan Calhanoglu, but there is still much work to do if Pioli's men are to return to the Champions League after an eight-year absence.

Ahead of a testing trip to Turin, it has been Milan's exceptional away form that has kept them afloat in recent times - the Rossoneri only missed out on the chance to become the first team to win 14 of their first 16 games on the road in a Serie A season due to a recent 3-0 loss at Lazio.

They have, in fact, not lost consecutive away fixtures in the league since emerging from lockdown last summer, so will be hoping that top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic can recapture his early-season form against one of his many former sides. With Milan's attacking output waning since the turn of the year, much responsibility rests on the broad shoulders of the talismanic striker - who has been plagued by injuries and illness of late - to save their season.

As legendary former coach Fabio Capello - a significant figure in the history of both clubs - this week decreed, whichever team loses on Sunday may effectively be down and out of the Champions League fight. Despite sitting third and fourth respectively in the table, both Juve and Milan have shown several frailties this spring, so the repercussions of defeat to one of their biggest rivals could prove terminal for either side's aspirations.

Juventus Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • D
  • W

AC Milan Serie A form:
  • D
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • L
  • W

Team News

Recent analysis in the Italian media highlighted that Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo has used 34 different lineups in his debut season, with personnel and formations being switched around on a weekly basis.

The former Milan midfield maestro will be delighted to add to that number on Sunday, nonetheless, if winger Federico Chiesa is able to overcome a thigh problem to be involved at some stage - after narrowly missing out on a return to action last week.

Promising central defender Merih Demiral may return too, as his thigh injury has now healed, but Matthijs de Ligt and Giorgio Chiellini are expected to start - with ex-Rossanero Leonardo Bonucci joining Demiral on the bench.

With an almost fully-fit squad to choose from, then, Pirlo is expected to bring Adrien Rabiot back into the starting XI - perhaps at Weston McKennie's expense - with Alvaro Morata in line to replace the still struggling Paulo Dybala alongside Cristiano Ronaldo up front.

Milan, meanwhile, have a similarly fit and available squad, as only Daniel Maldini is expected to be missing from Stefano Pioli's selection through injury and Samu Castillejo is ruled out due to a suspension for yellow-card accumulation.

Having found the target just once in his last seven matches, veteran target man Zlatan Ibrahimovic - who recently signed a contract extension that will keep him at the club beyond his 40th birthday - will lead the line for the visitors, with Rafael Leao having to see off competition from Ante Rebic in the supporting trio behind him.

At the heart of the Milan defence, Alessio Romagnoli will hope to break back into the side for either one of recent centre-back pairing Fikayo Tomori and Simon Kjaer.

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Danilo, De Ligt, Chiellini, Sandro; Cuadrado, Bentancur, Rabiot, Chiesa; Morata, Ronaldo

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Kessie, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic

We say: Juventus 1-0 AC Milan

The Old Lady's recent domination of this fixture in recent years can continue, despite the confirmation that their Serie A crown has been stolen by Milan's city rivals.

A pale shadow of their former selves of late, the ragged Rossoneri have often suffered at the Allianz Stadium, so even the best away record in the league cannot keep them from falling to a third defeat in four - a bitter blow for their Champions League dreams.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:curl

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Serie A Table
1 38287389355491
2 38247774413379
3 38239690474378
4 38239677383978
5 38245986414577
6 38215126155668
7 381881268581062
8 381711106456862
9 38157165254-252
10 381112154648-245
11 381012164758-1142
12 381011175165-1441
13 38913164759-1240
14 381010184258-1640
15 38912175272-2039
16 38910194359-1637
17 38716155069-1937
18 38712194075-3533
19 3865274592-4723
20 38311243983-4420
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