Match Preview: Juventus vs AC Milan

Juventus vs. AC Milan

Date: March 5th, 2011

Time: 20:45 GMT

Location: Stadio Olimpico di Torino

Current Positions: Milan (1st place) – 58 pts. & Juventus (7th place) – 41 pts.

Although Juventus is coming into the game after poor results against Lecce and Bologna, they always give it their all against the big clubs, and will be looking to win this match in front of their home fans. Juventus will also want to win in order to keep any hope in obtaining a Champions League spot alive. Coach Del Neri’s future is also in the balance and he will do whatever he can to motivate his team to get a win against the league leaders. On the other hand Milan should have momentum on their side, fresh from thrilling wins against Chievo and Napoli. They will also be looking to keep (or possibly build on) their 5-point gap from Inter, who play Genoa this weekend. Milan will also be keeping one eye on their Champions League clash against Tottenham later in the week.

Allegri’s Press Conference:

“It is normal now that we are eleven games from the end that every game becomes the most important.  Tomorrow’s game will be vital to the Scudetto for us, and for them it is important to qualify for the Champions League. Juventus are strong physically, they have character and are dangerous on set-pieces. When a team is wounded like they are now I am sure they will play a great game. However, we are in good conditions and we have the objective to go there and achieve a good result.

If we were to take it easy tomorrow we’d be crazy; with 11 games left we should go into each game with the objective to get a result. Last time we played Juventus they played a good game, taking advantage of our errors. We also played an excellent game, we were more dangerous, and I was very disappointed for not having gotten a result. Against Inter they also played well and won; at Lecce they were left with 10 men after 10 minutes and on Sunday (against Bologna) they were unlucky in the first half, then granted Bologna two occasions that they were able to exploit. To get a result in Turin we will have to be great. The championship is long and we must think of the individual games as they come.  Tomorrow will be not be easy, according to the numbers Juventus have done well against the top five this season.

I have not yet decided on the formation but there is good probability that Pato will start.  However independently from who starts the match, who comes from the bench will need to play an important role, like we’ve already seen many times this year.  From this moment on in the season, the bench can become even more determining than ever before.  Boateng has good probability to start as well.  For the remainder we should think about tomorrow only, and not about Wednesday, because we have recuperated a lot of players and I believe that we have necessary forces to play more games.”

Allegri vs. Del Neri

Key Players:

Alexandre Pato: Amazing performances against Chievo and Napoli have cemented his place back into the starting eleven after having started several games from the bench, he will be eager to exploit the Juventus defence.

Quote: “It is not a problem if Juventus are angry and motivated and that they won the first match. We believe we can do it.”

Alessandro Matri: Juventus’ winter signing has integrated well with his new team since arriving, scoring a brace against former team Cagliari and scoring the winner against Inter three weeks ago in their 1-0 triumph. He will have something to prove to his former club, having spent 11 years at Milan before leaving for Cagliari in 2007.

Quote: “I used to love playing this game when I was at Cagliari, the will to play against Milan is always there even though we are going through a rough patch.”

Pato vs. Matri

Recent Form:

Milan’s Last 5 Matches

02/28/2011         AC Milan 3 – 0 Napoli

02/20/2011         Chievo 1 – 2 AC Milan

02/15/2011         AC Milan 0 – 1 Tottenham (UCL)

02/12/2011         AC Milan 4 – 0 Parma

02/06/2011         Genoa 1 – 1 AC Milan

Juventus’ Last 5 Matches

02/26/2011         Juventus 0 – 2 Bologna

02/20/2011         Lecce 2 – 0 Juventus

02/13/2011         Juventus 1 -0 Inter Milan

02/05/2011         Cagliari 1 – 3 Juventus

02/02/2011         Palermo 2 – 1 Juventus

Probable Line-Ups:

Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Abate, Thiago Silva, Nesta, Jankulovski; Gattuso, Van Bommel, Boateng; Robinho; Ibrahimovic, Pato.

Bench: Amelia, Yepes, Oddo, Emanuelson, Flamini, Seedorf, Cassano.

Juventus (4-4-2): Buffon; Sorensen, Barzagli, Chiellini, Traore; Krasic, Felipe Melo, Marchisio, Martinez; Matri, Toni.

Bench: Storari, Bonucci, Grygera, Aquilani, Del Piero, Iaquinta, Buchel.