Monday, March 27, 2017

Prediction: Milan vs Juventus

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

Stadio Olimpico in Rome will be the setting of the 2015/2016 Coppa Italia final between struggling AC Milan and Italian champions Juventus. The Rossoneri have a chance to secure a major confidence boost ahead of the new campaign, whereas the Turin outfit will be looking to prove they remain the team to beat in Italy.

Milan

AC Milan fans cannot seem to catch a break as their beloved team is no longer vying for major honours, with the Coppa Italia final a clear exception to the rule. The Rossoneri did cut down spending in recent years, but it is not as if they are not investing in the squad, it’s just that their transfer dealings have been quite disappointing of late. Sinisa Mihajlovic is another high-profile coach to have failed at San Siro, and the search is on for the person to take over the reigns from interim manager Cristian Brocchi. Meanwhile, the Rossoneri have finished outside Europa League positions in Serie A, although they can still qualify for Europe if they win the Coppa Italia trophy. However, judging by their latest performances and the opposition in the final, that is likely to prove mission impossible. AC Milan have largely struggled when facing top sides this season, failing to win any of last four matches against Italian giants (D2 L2), and they were beaten in both games by Juventus this season. That is enough to suggest that the Rossoneri are no match to Italy’s best team by a mile and there is little chance of Cristian Brocchi’s men reversing the trend in the Coppa Italia final.

Team News

Starting full-backs Luca Antonelli and Ignazio Abate look unlikely to recover in time for the final, with Mattia De Sciglio and Davide Calabria set to deputise.

M’Baye Niang has resumed full training after being involved in a car crash, and he is expected to make the match day squad.

Juventus

With so many top clubs harbouring championship ambitions, it was by no means easy for Juventus to establish domestic domination, but they have now made it five league titles in a row, which is an incredible achievement. It was Antonio Conte who started the revolution in Turin, and even though Max Allegri was not everyone’s first choice to replace the soon-to-be Chelsea manager, he has done brilliantly to keep the Bianconeri at the top. The next step is an assault on the Champions League trophy, which was so close last season when Juventus lost to Barcelona in the final, but the team will first want to wrap up another successful campaign with the Coppa Italia title. If we disregard the off day against Hellas Verona, the Old Lady head into the Milan clash in championship form, having won eight of last nine matches in all competitions, keeping a clean sheet in five of those wins. The game does come at a bad time as a number of key men would rather be preparing for the Euro 2016 finals, but model professionals they are, Juventus stars can be trusted to perform at a high level before they jet off to join their respective national teams.

Team News

German midfielder Sami Khedira did not make the squad as he failed to recover from a muscle injury, while Leonardo Bonucci is banned.

The only dilemma is whether Norberto Neto will continue his Coppa Italia run or if Max Allegri will recall Gianluigi Buffon for the final.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Juventus won last eight competitive fixtures vs AC Milan
  • The Bianconeri kept a clean sheet in three of last five meetings
  • Juve have already beaten AC Milan twice this season
  • The Bianconeri won 10 of last 11 domestic fixtures
  • AC Milan last won Coppa Italia 13 years ago

Conclusion

AC Milan are nowhere near the required quality needed to match in-form Juventus side and we fully expect the difference in class between the two teams to be evident in the Stadio Olimpico clash. The Bianconeri head to the Coppa Italia final in very good form and they can be trusted to get the job done once again.

Verdict: Away win

Best Odds: 4/6

Bookmaker: William Hill

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