The Serie A champions of the last two seasons meet on Sunday (7.45pm GMT, live on ESPN) when Juventus visit AC Milan at the San Siro.
There can be no doubt as to which team is currently the stronger. Juventus lead the way in Serie A on 32 points from 13 matches and are 2/5 favourites in the Serie A betting to lift the league.
Milan find themselves in a lowly 12th place with less than half (15) the points accumulated by their opponents this weekend.
The Old Lady have been excellent so far this season, winning 10 of their 13 league matches to date. They have scored more goals (29) than all but Roma and conceded a league-best nine times, giving them a goal difference of +20 that outlines their dominance thus far.
Juventus drew just under 40% of their matches last season, a figure that has been reduced to around the 20% mark this time around. They may have lost their long-standing unbeaten record in defeat at home to Inter Milan at the start of November, but coach Antonio Conte is unlikely to be unduly concerned if they continue picking up points at their current rate.
Summer signing Kwando Asamoah had added extra energy and incision to the team, excelling in a left wing-back role, while pint-sized playmaker Sebastian Giovinco, another new recruit, has provided an additional option up front, his tricky, inventive play dovetailing particularly well with Mirko Vucinic.
The 3-5-2 formation that Juventus first employed last season as a measure to counteract teams such as Napoli and Udinese who set up similarly has now become their default. The players are so well versed in the system that Juventus are able to exploit its advantages far more readily than most opponents are able to pick holes in its weaknesses.
The 3-0 win at home to Chelsea in the Champions League on Tuesday displayed all the efficiencies of the system as Juventus overran the Blues with ease. Chelsea’s defence struggled to deal with all aspects of Juve’s attack: the combination play between the two strikers, the strong runs down the flanks and the well-timed bursts from midfield from Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio.
Conte has well placed faith in his system and now has a squad capable of going the distance in numerous competitions. He will likely bring Giovinco and Mauricio Isla back into the team for Sunday’s match, while Martin Caceres is most likely to deputise for Giorgio Chiellini if the defender fails to shrug off the calf problems he suffered in the closing minutes on Tuesday.
Juventus have reaped the rewards of the gate receipts from their year old stadium and invested prudently following last season’s Serie A title success and qualification for the Champions League. Conversely Milan have been forced to cut costs – most obviously by selling their two best players – in an effort to bring themselves in line with financial fair play regulations.
The big-money departures of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva significantly weakened Milan at both ends of the pitch, while the decision not to renew the contracts of a number of experienced players has left the team lacking on-field leadership and tactical cohesion.
With this in mind it is little surprise that Rossoneri have failed to mount anything vaguely resembling a title challenge so far this season. Four wins, three draws and six defeats (the same number they suffered in the entirety of last season) currently see them outside the top ten and twelve points shy of the top three finish that would have been their minimum expectation pre-season.
After experimenting with various formations, coach Massimiliano Allegri appears to have now settled on a 4-3-3 system. That brought success on Wednesday when Milan confirmed their place in the knockout stages of the Champions League with a 3-1 victory away to Anderlecht.
Stephan El Shaarawy scored the first goal in that win, his 12th of the season in all competitions, and his ascension to first team prominence has been one of the few bright spots of the campaign. Milan have become heavily reliant on his goals, El Shaaraway scoring 50% of the club’s league total to date.
At the other end of the pitch, injuries have further decimated a defence already recovering from the departure of Thiago Silva. First choice full-backs Ignazio Abate and Luca Antonini are both currently out of action, as is central defender Daniele Bonera. Milan have conceded 18 goals in Serie A to date, a record far worse than the teams at the league’s summit.
AC Milan vs Juventus Betting Tips Conclusion
Milan have shown flickers of promise in recent weeks, but little to suggest that they will be able to pull off a surprise by defeating Juventus on Sunday.
The Rossonieri were comprehensively defeated 3-1 by Fiorentina, a team whose system and style of play heavily resembles that of Juventus, in their last home match. Juventus have the necessary offensive tools to unpick a shaky Milan defence and should be backed to emerge victorious.