Monday, February 17, 2020

Prediction: AC Milan vs Juventus

Tom Dunstan in Free Soccer Predictions 13 Feb 2020

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Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

Two sides looking to book their spot in the semi-final of this year’s Coppa Italia, AC Milan will welcome Juventus to the San Siro on Thursday night.

AC Milan

Starting with the hosts, after throwing away a two-goal lead and watching their bitter rivals pick up Milan bragging rights on Sunday night, AC are desperately seeking to immediately bounce back. While their eventual 4-2 defeat against I Nerazzurri may have brought an end to their seven-match unbeaten run, Stefano Pioli’s men have made some much-needed improvements since opening the New Year. Booking their spot in the quarter-final of this year’s Coppa Italia thanks to a dramatic 4-2 win over Torino last month, the former European giants have found a route back into the top half of the Serie A standings and have their sights set on mounting a late European charge. While fans around the San Siro might find their side still dealing with some worrying issues at the back, Pioli will be hugely excited by Zlatan Ibrahimović’s impact since making his Italian return last month. Finding the net against Inter on Sunday and now recording back-to-back strikes, the Swedish striker has already landed a trio of goals since making his LA switch.

Team News

Milan are without Leo Duarte while Rade Krunic is a doubt but both Davide Calabria and Mateo Musacchio are expected to return.

Juventus

As for the visitors, also throwing away a lead in the most dramatic of fashion over the weekend, the mood in Juventus’ camp appears to be showing some cracks. Hit with a stunning 2-1 defeat away at Verona last time out, new boss Maurizio Sarri already finds his position coming under increasing scrutiny. Now losing two of their last three appearances, including another 2-1 loss away at a struggling Napoli, the Old Lady have also sacrificed their spot at the top of the Serie A standings. Unsurprisingly, if Juve are to make a much-needed return to winning ways at the San Siro, there is no doubt that the former Chelsea manager will be calling on attacking icon Cristiano Ronaldo to lead their charge. Bagging what turned out to be a consolation strike against Verona over the weekend, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has now found the net in each of his last seven matches across all competitions, recording a stunning 11 goals on his most recent purple patch.

Team News

After picking up a thigh problem over the weekend, Juventus have confirmed that winger Douglas Costa will be on the sidelines for at least a few weeks.

Elsewhere, after returning from his own injury issue, full-back Danilo is available for selection on Thursday night.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Juventus have won each of their last six matches against AC Milan, including a 1-0 victory back in November.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo has now found the net in each of his last seven matches across all competitions, recording 11 goals.
  • AC have seen four of their last five matchups end with both teams finding the net.
  • Likewise, four of Juventus’ last five matches have seen both teams find the net by full-time.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimović has scored in back-to-back matchups.

Conclusion

On paper, both sides should see Thursday as a real opportunity to book their spot in the semi-final of this year’s Coppa Italia. While AC might be coming off the back of their derby heartbreak last weekend, Thursday’s hosts have found a new attacking spark since Zlatan Ibrahimović marked his San Siro return. While attacking talisman Cristiano Ronaldo might be doing a stellar job of leading Juve’s line, it is hard to overlook their own worrying issues at the back. With eight of the last 10 combined matchups between the two sides seeing both teams find the net, we’re backing another lively encounter in Milan this week.

Verdict: Both teams to score

Best Odds: 4/5

Bookmaker: Bet365

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Dunstan


Formerly of The Independent, Tom is a freelance football and boxing journalist from Essex, England. Currently working for three online publications, Tom is a graduate of the University of Falmouth and has spent the last two years writing across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. He can be followed at @IamTomDunstan

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