Juventus and AC Milan are set to square off at the Allianz Stadium in a blockbuster, heavyweight Serie A clash on Sunday night.
The sides have experienced contrasting fortunes in their midweek’s Champions League exploits.
While Juventus thrashed Swedish side Malmo 3-0 on the road, Milan wasted a 2-1 half-time lead to succumb to a 3-2 loss to Liverpool at Anfield.
Juventus can ill-afford a slip-up against bitter rivals if they are to return in contention for the league title following a dreadful start to the season under returning boss Massimiliano Allegri.
The Bianconeri come into this encounter desperate to get their Serie A campaign off the mark after sustaining two defeats in their inaugural three outings, barring a 2-2 draw with Udinese on the opening weekend.
Only three times in their trophy-laden top-flight history have Juventus started a new league campaign without a single win from four matches, last doing so in 1961/62.
A potential defeat here would see the record-time Italian champions lose three of their first four Serie A seasonal games for the very first time.
Long-serving stalwarts Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini, aided by highly-rated Dutch defender Matthijs de Ligt, have a point to prove here.
Indeed, Juventus have failed to keep a clean sheet in their last 17 Serie A outings on the trot and are only two games away from equalling the club’s second-longest such streak in the competition.
Since Cristiano Ronaldo’s sensational return to Manchester United, Allegri’s men have netted just one goal in two league matches.
Paulo Dybala could improve Juventus’ paltry goalscoring return here, as he has tallied five goals against Milan at the Allianz Stadium, his personal career-high against a single opposition at this venue.
AC Milan Preview
Unlike their hosts, Milan have already shown that last season’s runners-up finish did not come by chance.
Stefano Pioli’s players have won all three Serie A fixtures this term by an aggregate scoreline of 7-1, including a 2-0 victory over fierce rivals Lazio at home last time out.
Pioli could make history with another triumph here. After leading the Rossoneri to a 100% four-game start last season, he could manage that feat twice in a row, something no other previous Milan manager has ever done.
Going back to May, the seven-time Champions League winners boast a better clean-sheet ratio than any other side across Europe’s top-five leagues (87.5%).
Indeed, they have registered seven shutouts in their last eight Serie A games, with a 4-1 home thumping of Cagliari on the opening weekend being the solitary exception to this run.
Despite scoring 2+ goals in six of their last eight league outings, Milan could find goals hard to come by at the Allianz Stadium.
Star strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Olivier Giroud won’t be in contention for the squad after picking up injuries, leaving Pioli short of reliable attacking options.
Juventus vs AC Milan Head-to-Head
Milan avenged a 3-1 home defeat in their first meeting last season with an overwhelming 3-0 victory at this venue in early May.
As a result, the Rossoneri have now won two of their last three Serie A matches against Juventus, as many triumphs as they had in their previous 17 H2Hs in the competition (D1, L14).
They will now be looking to post back-to-back top-flight wins at the Allianz Stadium for the first time in over a decade.
Juventus vs AC Milan Predicted Line-ups
Juventus (4-4-2): Wojciech Szczesny; Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci, Danilo, Alex Sandro; Rodrigo Bentancur, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot, Juan Cuadrado; Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata.
AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Theo Hernandez, Fikayo Tomori, Simon Kjaer, Davide Calabria; Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie; Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao, Alessandro Florenzi; Ante Rebic.
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