Juventus vs AC Milan, preview: Rossoneri desperate for all three points

Claudio Villa

Juventus may be on top in Serie A, but until they've got their name on the scudetto, they won't be giving an inch. But with just a few weeks left for Milan to sneak into the Champions League, an extra bit of grinta might see the visitors sneak a win.

Last week, Milan hosted Napoli, but were only able to secure a point, leaving the rossoneri four points adrift of second place. This week, the test is even tougher: travel to Turin to take on scudetto-elect Juventus.* Juve have no reason to fear losing out on the title -- Napoli are nine points behind, after all -- but surely they're anxious to dig into the crates of champagne and celebratory tee-shirts.

Milan head to Turin without Mario Balotelli. The forward saw his suspension reduced, but he still sits out an additional match for comments he made to the referee during the match against Fiorentina. However, Stephan El Shaarawy is nice and rested, after Massimiliano Allegri made the bizarre decision to leave him on the bench for the majority of last week's match. Why it's more important to get a result against the top team than to beat the team hogging the Champions League spot you wish to steal, well, we will never know.

The Little Pharaoh will almost, certainly, positively start this week -- and he's going to be hell bent on scoring, too. With just one goal since Balo arrived at Milan, El Shaarawy might be feeling a bit overshadowed. From the moment he stepped on the pitch to face Napoli, he was making runs and putting himself in good positions. If he's even more fired up after his time on the bench and goes on to secure the win for Milan, Allegri really might be a genius.

As for Juventus, well, they're Juventus. All eyes are on the mind of Antonio Conte this week, as everyone wonders if he'll stick with a 3-5-1-1 or return to two-man strikeforce. Juve certainly looked lively against Lazio on Monday, and considering the strength in midfield, you have to wonder how Conte never previously thought to use Claudio Marchisio as a second striker. Then again, it seems Nicklas Bendtner is now healthy. Perhaps he'll be given his first start in bianconeri?**

*This is probably not a phrase. But it should be.

**Totally not going to happen. But it would give us something to talk about until the next Juve match.

Juventus Injuries and Suspensions

Nicolas Anelka, Sebastian Giovinco, Simone Pepe (injured)

Giorgio Chiellini (in doubt)

AC Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Nigel De Jong (injured)

Mario Balotelli, Mathieu Flamini (suspended)

Match Date / Time

Sunday, April 21 at 8:45 p.m. local, 2:45 p.m. ET


Juventus Stadium, Turin


Sky Calcio 1, ESPN UK, BeIN Sport, RAI Internazionale

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