Just a few days after an inexplicable collapse against Manchester United, Juventus have another big game to contend with as they take on AC Milan this weekend.
A Sunday evening clash between two of Europe’s most prestigious clubs is a mouthwatering prospect, with the fact it will be held at San Siro providing the perfect stage for such a fixture.
The old stadium will likely be almost full for the visit of the Bianconeri and it was clear that Juve boss Max Allegri was looking ahead to a meeting with his old club even before United inflicted a first defeat of 2018/19 upon his side.
Resting a number of key players, the coach paid the price for not prioritising the Old Lady’s European commitments and his captain was certainly not surprised when he spoke to Sky Italia shortly after the Champions League game came to an end.
“We’ve been threatening this sort of mess for a few games, to be honest, as we get too complacent and run risks that are totally unnecessary,” Giorgio Chiellini said.
“Maybe now we’ll get our heads down and focus the way we need to in every single match, taking nothing for granted. We had been in total control, but were very wasteful and forgot the details, because we knew where Manchester United could be dangerous.”
The Italy international – and Juve supporters everywhere – will look to see the kind of reaction that is now essential, hoping that such a listless and bitter loss sparks a furious return to form for the Old Lady.
One thing that cannot be denied is the truth behind Chiellini’s comment that Juve have looked vulnerable for quite some time. They handed Genoa a share of the points three weeks ago, conceding a sloppy equaliser against an opponent who had no business escaping with a draw, and almost repeated that feat at Old Trafford a few days earlier.
Eventual victories against Empoli and Cagliari were earned despite allowing both teams to score too, and now Juve take on a Milan side who have looked increasingly strong in recent outings.
Losing just one league game since August, the Rossoneri have won all but one of their last six Serie A matches and have scored 13 goals in that time while finally keeping a clean sheet last weekend.
That was their first shutout since April, a timely boost before the visit of the Old Lady. Juve have beaten Milan in 10 of their last 11 league encounters and have beaten them in five of their last eight trips to San Siro.
As a result and despite their recent woes, it is difficult to see beyond Juve adding to that unbeaten streak and Bet365 is offering odds of 1/4 that the Bianconeri either win or draw this game.
The most prominent point of note when looking a little closer at those recent encounters has been the lack of goals, Juve winning two of the last five meetings by netting the only strike of the game.
Two more victories came courtesy of a 2-0 scoreline, meaning only once has a game at San Siro seen over 2.5 goals in that time and it is well worth backing that trend to continue on Sunday evening.
888Sport are offering odds of 13/5 on Under 1.5 goals being scored or 17/20 on Under 2.5 goals, both options that are well worth considering.
Gonzalo Higuain may have left the game with Udinese early due to a hip issue, but the Argentinian is expected to be back in action against Juve and was left out of the midweek Europa League squad purely as a precaution.
The 30-year-old striker has a happy habit of netting against his former club, smashing six goals against Napoli in just five meetings after leaving them to join Juve in the summer of 2016.
Two years later and he is now in the Rossoneri colours, looking to punish the Old Lady for turning her back on him.
“The decision to leave wasn’t mine, I gave everything for Juventus and won a lot of trophies,” Higuain said in a recent interview with LA Gazzetta dello Sport.
“Then Cristiano Ronaldo arrived and the club wanted to make a leap in quality and they told me I couldn’t stay, and that they were trying to find a solution. The best solution was Milan.”
He has made a fine start to life at San Siro, netting seven goals in 12 appearances thus far and it is well worth backing him to score on Sunday with BetBright offering odds of 13/2 on Higuain to score the first goal of the game or 2/1 to net at any time.
If you’re in the UK but haven’t got a subscription with Eleven Sports, don’t sweat, Milan vs Juventus can be streamed live free of charge via Bet365.
You will, though, need a Bet365 account with some sportsbook funds in it, or at least have placed a bet with the bookmaker within the last 24 hours of kick-off.
Coverage will begin two minutes before the 7.30pm GMT kick-off time on Sunday – simply navigate your way to the event page on Bet365.
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