Il Vero Derby D’Italia
Few Milan fans would’ve predicted they would be this optimistic going into this Saturday’s match against the three-peating champions. After an excellent showing on matchday 1 against Lazio and a win over Parma that will not be soon forgotten by all Calcio fans, Milan fans, for the first time in over a year, have reason to be optimistic.
With Massimiliano Allegri returning to San Siro for the first time after getting sacked by Milan last season, it would be exciting to see how he can break Milan’s fortune. Milan also has a new occupant as well in Filippo Inzaghi, a legend for both clubs. Both the managers will be looking for all three points to ensure their season continues to go as planned.
The Rossoneri were shelled in the preseason International Champions Cup by Olympiakos, Manchester City and Liverpool. They lost the three games in the U.S. by a combined 10-1 score. Though unexpectedly Milan started their Serie A season with an impressive 3-1 win over Lazio at San Siro and a nine goal thriller against Parma which ended 5-4 in Milan’s favour at Stadio Ennio Tardini.
Milan’s revamped attack has looked strong so far, but if the first two matches of the year are an indication, they will have to outgun their opponents in order to beat them. That’s a model that may not be sustainable for long. With new signing Alex has been ruled out through muscle injury and Daniele Bonera been suspended, Rossoneri will likely field Adil Rami and Cristian Zapata at the back. Evergreen Christian Abbiati will play his first match of the season as new summer signing Diego Lopez has been ruled out for next two weeks. Milan’s attack will be more sharp tonight with Stephan El Shaarawy returning from ankle injury, he will be paired with inform Jeremy Menez and Japan’s international Keisuke Honda. Fernando Torres, who also suffered a set back after colliding with his teammate Adil Rami in training has been included in Pippo Inzaghi‘s squad. The midfield will be same as first two matches with Nigel De Jong, Andrea Poli and Sulley Muntari will be fielded in a three man midfield.
Juventus who has formed a Calcio dynasty, who have won three straight scudetto’s and kept all their pieces together, in fact, they’ve gotten better, Paul Pogba is proving himself to be a top midfielder in all of Europe, Carlos Tevez ended his European drought this week and will be full of confidence. Moreover, the whole team will be brimming with confidence after a superb second half display against Malmo in the Champions League. It’s important to mention that Massimiliano Allegri will be out for revenge against the club that sacked him.
Their opening win against Chievo was far more dominant than the 1-0 scoreline would lead one to believe. The Bianconeri controlled everything and would have scored four goals—or even more—had the goalposts at the Stadio Bentegodi not behaved as though they had signed contracts with the home club.
Their home opener last week, against Udinese, was a similar performance. The Friuli outfit is much better than Chievo and put up more of a fight, but they only produced one real moment of menace the entire match—and that was called back for offside.
With key midfielder Andrea Pirlo missing the match against his ex club through an injury and Arturo Vidal who is also a doubt to start the match, The Bianconeri has to make sure that things wouldn’t go bad from here. A midfield of Robert Pereyra, Paul Pogba and Claudio Marchisio looks more imminent tonight. For the first time this season Juve’s midfield will be tested against a big team, though Milan’s midfield is not superior to Juve but without Pirlo and Vidal it will be very exciting to see how Bianconeri can cope up.
The defense will play a big part for Juventus tonight considering how inform Milan’s attackers are in. Allegri will most likely field Martin Caceres, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Cheillini with Capitano Gigi Buffon commanding from the post. Inform Carlos Tevez who netted brace against Malmo, ending his miserable form in Champions League will surely cause havoc in Milan’s defense with his partner in crime, Fernando Llorente.
Probable Starting XI
A.C Milan Juventus
Agazzi, Gori, Mexes, Zaccardo, Albertazzi, Armero, Essien, Van Ginkel, Bonaventura, Torres, Pazzini, Niang
Bench: Storari, Rubinho, Evra, Ogbonna, Barzagli, Vidal, Padoin, Pepe, Coman, Romulo, Giovinco, Morata.
Milan 2-2 Juventus
Image Credit: ForzItalianFootball