Verdict: Both teams to score
Best odds: 13/20
Until this summer, the matches between Juventus and AC Milan were contests between the two clubs with the largest numbers of Serie A titles, even though there was a considerable difference between them in that aspect; Juventus have 36, and Milan half that. But Inter Milan snatched that second place from their city rivals by winning their 19th title at the end of 2020-21.
Nonetheless, there is still great rivalry between Juventus and Milan, and many still consider the Rossoneri to actually be the greatest club in Italy, solely due to their seven Champions League/Cup trophies. They meet again on Sunday, as Juventus welcome Milan to the Allianz Stadium in Turin in the fourth round of the season in the country’s top flight.
Having won nine titles in a row, Juventus’ dominant streak was brought to an end last term as they finished fourth and Inter grabbed the trophy. The Old Lady started this campaign in a surprisingly disappointing fashion, losing two and drawing one of the three games they’ve played so far. They started with a 2-2 draw away to Udinese, and followed that with defeats 0-1 at home to Empoli and 2-1 away to Napoli.
It means, of course, that they only have a point to their name at the moment, and such an abysmal output has them in 16th place in the league, level with Cagliari in 17th and Spezia in 18th. Only Verona and Salernitana have done worse.
Juventus did start well in the Champions League however, beating Malmo in Sweden in the opening round of Group H as Alex Sandro, Paulo Dybala and Alvaro Morata all struck in the first half to give the team a 0-3 victory.
This summer Juventus lost the services of Cristiano Ronaldo, who returned to Manchester United at the age of 36 and is having a good second start at the club where he played between 2003 and 2009.
Dybala and Morata are likely to lead the attacking line again, but winger Federico Bernardeschi is a doubt, having his knee problem assessed ahead of the match.
At the back, coach Massimiliano Allegri will probably be choosing between the experience of Giorgio Chiellini and the youth of Matthijs de Ligt, alongside former Milan defender Leonardo Bonucci.
The times are exciting at the San Siro at the moment. There is a general ‘sleeping giant’ feeling about them, and many believe it has started waking up as the Rossoneri reached the Champions League again after a very long time. They finished second to Inter last term, and they were practically in the title race for most of its course, until they lost too much ground on their city rivals towards the end.
Their start to the new campaign has been perfect so far, with three wins out of three matches. They beat Sampdoria away by 0-1 on the opening day, adding a 4-1 thrashing of Cagliari and a 2-0 win over Lazio to their record at home.
With nine points, they sit second to AS Roma, who are also enjoying a superb start under Jose Mourinho. Napoli are in there as well, completing the group of three teams with a 100% record so far.
In the Champions League, Milan were thoroughly outplayed by Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday, but they did manage to overturn an early own-goal from Fikayo Tomori through Ante Rebic and Brahim Diaz finishing off two great attacking moves less than two minutes apart and head to the break in the lead. However, the Premier League side proved too much for them to handle later on, as Mohamed Salah and Jordan Henderson made sure the three points all remained on Merseyside.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic remains unavailable for selection due to an Achilles problem, and the brilliant striker who turns 40 in a few weeks is certainly a big miss. Olivier Giroud, recently arrived from Chelsea, is likely to take his place upfront, having started the Anfield clash on the bench. Winger Raphael Leao looked very pale against Liverpool, and Rebic could therefore keep his spot.
Captain Simon Kjaer will command the back line again, and Tomori’s own goal shouldn’t mean too much for his own place in the team. In the middle of the park, Sandro Tonali is likely to return and play alongside Franck Kessie.
It’s been a long time since Milan looked like favourites against Juventus, especially in Turin, but that seems to be the case now. However, all the bookies still place shorter odds on the home team, who will certainly do their best to turn their fortunes around at this point.
It should be an exciting contest, with each team scoring at least once.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best odds: 13/20
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