Serie A preview: AC Milan-Juventus

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AC MILAN host Juventus F.C. on Saturday night when the clock points 20:45 at Stadio San Siro.

The Rossoneri have a chance to go to the first place if they grab all three points at home against Juventus. A win over Juve would be vital and a huge moral boost ahead of Real Madrid.

The Old Lady have found form but they will be without their no. 1 player. However, they are still a tough side and are capable of beating Milan away.

AC Milan-Juventus: The Bianconeri squad
AC Milan-Juventus: The Rossoneri squad

Watch the highlights of the last encounter between the giants.

This is another big task for Massimiliano Allegri in the road to this year’s most anticipated match of the season: AC Milan versus Inter Milan. But before Milan think about the derby, they must beat the best of the teams.

It started last weekend, when the Rossoneri faced Napoli. Milan were in complete control during the most of the first half, but in the second half, it seemed that Milan were with a man down, and not the Partenopei.

Sokratis Papastathopoulos still doesn’t have the required experience to start for Milan, and it cost Milan against Napoli, when Ezequiel Lavezzi scored a brilliant goal, but Papa was to blame actually for it.

Massimo Oddo won’t start on the right of the defense, as he’s injured, as well as Gianluca Zambrotta. Ignazio Abate is likely to start in defense, but Bruno Montelongo and Daniele Bonera fight for a place too.

Seems that Allegri has found the winning formula in midfield, with Kevin-Prince Boateng, Andrea Pirlo and Rino Gattuso, while in the attack, Robinho, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Alex Pato will probably start.

Ronaldinho, who was the man of the match in both matches against Juventus last season, is not available, but Milan are still favourites (that’s what the bookmarks say) and could take all three points.

il Diavolo are sitting second behind leaders Lazio and a victory over Juventus would be the proof that Milan are very serious about winning the Scudetto this season, and they can beat the best teams around.

Milan’s home form is quite good as they picked 1o points (out of 17 in total) were taken by Massimiliano Allegri’s side, who hasn’t lost at San Siro yet this season.

Star Man: Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be very crucial in this match. Against strong defenders like Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, Ibra’s physical strength could be extremely useful. He scored in the last match the winning goal and he looks good.

Injury List: Massimo Oddo, Thiago Silva, Oguchi Onyewu, Gianluca Zambrotta, Massimo Ambrosini and Ronaldinho; Nnamdi Oduamadi and Marek Jankulovski are out for different reasons.

Squad List: Abbiati, Amelia;  Antonini, Bonera, Montelongo, Nesta, Papastathopoulos, Yepes;  Abate, Boateng, Flamini, Gattuso, Pirlo, Seedorf, Strasser;  Ibrahimovic, Inzaghi, Pato, Robinho.

AC Milan's Robinho celebrates after scoring against Napoli during their Italian Serie A soccer match at the San Paolo stadium in Naples October 25, 2010. (Reuters Pictures)

Juventus are not the same Juve of seven or five years ago, when they had players like Fabio Cannavaro, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and a young Gianluigi Buffon on their side – they have changed, but are still dangerous.

Milan-Juventus is an Italian classic which almost every house in the peninsula would be watching and this could be the chance of the Old Lady to show that they have a lot to offer this season.

Luigi Del Neri has previously claimed that his side will not be running for the Scudetto this year, leaving the competition to the likes of Milan and Inter. But when you look at their squad, you see many champions.

With a defense line the includes Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci, and midfielders like Alberto Aquilani and Claudio Marchisio, it’s clear that Juve have what it takes to fight against the best teams.

Juve are still looking for their identity, and they are, even more than Milan, a team under construction. Del Neri is doing his best, but it may not be enough to beat an in-form Milan.

The Old Lady will be missing their No. 1 player, Milos Krasic. The Serbian is suspended after he divvied in the box; Juve’s appeal had been rejected on Friday, their task to beat Milan has got even harder.

Krasic has made the difference for Del Neri’s side in recent games, but they still have some good players, like Fabio Quagliarella and of course, Alessandro Del Piero who can win a game by themselves.

Star Man: With Krasic out, Alex Del Piero is probably Juve’s man in this clash. He’s surely one of the most dangerous forwards in Italy, despite his high age, and could cause many troubles to Milan.

Injury List: Alexander Manninger, Gianluigi Buffon, Vincenzo Iaquinta, Zdeněk Grygera, Armand Traoré and Davide Lanzafame; Krasic is suspended.

Squad List: Storari, Costantino, Kirev;  Motta, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Ceglie, Legrottaglie, Sorensen;  Felipe Melo, Sissoko, Marchisio, Aquilani, Martínez, Giandonato;  Del Piero, Amauri, Quagliarella, Pepe, Giannettim.

Alberto Aquilani of Juventus FC celebrates with his team mates after scoring during the Serie A match between Juventus FC and US Lecce at Olimpico Stadium on October 17, 2010 in Turin, Italy. (Getty Images)

By Meytar Zeevi, Rossoneri Blog

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