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Juventus v AC Milan betting preview
Juventus are strong favourites to begin the New Year with an eighth Supercoppa Italiana crownJuventus are unbeaten in the Serie A so far, as they have dropped only four league points after 19 games. The Bianconeri top the domestic table with a 9 points gap over Napoli and 14 over Inter Milan. They have opened the 2019 with a routine 2-0 victory over Bologna in Coppa Italia. That result was their 9 victory in the last 11 outings (1D 1L) and their 8th clean sheet in the process. Only Atalanta (2-2) and Young Boys (2-1) stopped the Old Lady in that run. As to direct encounters, Massimiliano Allegri's men have won each of their last six meetings with Milan in all competitions since losing on penalties in the 2016 Supercoppa Italiana clash in Qatar.
The Italian champions have a number of injury concerns. Mario Mandzukic will play no part in Jeddah, meaning that Douglas Costa and Federico Bernardeschi are in contention to join Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala up front. In midfield, Rodrigo Betancur and Blaise Matuidi should get the nod over the German duo Sami Khedira and Emre Can, and partner Miralem Pjanic. The likes of Juan Cuadrado and Mehdi Benatia are sidelined. Hence, Alex Sandro and Joao Cancelo will start as full back, while Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci will retain their starting berth at the heart of the defense.
AC Milan have won only 4 of their last 10 matches in both the Serie A and Europa League.AC Milan also qualified for the Coppa Italia last eight, but their form has been indifferent in recent months. The Rossoneri were on a 5 match winless streak (three goalless draws and two defeats against Olympiacos and Fiorentina before to record back to back wins over Spal (2-1 at S.Siro) and Bologna few days ago. Gennaro Gattuso's men sit 4th in the Serie table but they are 22 points adrift of Serie A pacesetters Juventus. The have scored just three goals in regular time in the last 7 outings. Furthermore, the Rossoneri have lost to all of the top three this season, including a 2-0 home loss to Juventus back in November.
Gattuso will have to contend without suspended forward Suso and Mattia Caldara, Lucas Biglia and Giacomo Bonaventura, who are all out through injury. Brazilian midfielder Lucas Paqueta could make his second appearance for the club since joining from Flamengo, alongside Frank Kessie and Tiemoue Bakayoko in the middle of the park. Gonzalo Higuain should be flanked by Hakan Calhanoglu and Samu Castillejo up front, although Patrick Cutrone looks the in-form man and is pushing to replace the Argentine striker. The likes of Davide Calabria, Cristian Zapata, Leandro Romagnoli and Ricardo Rodriguez should form the four man backline.
Juventus v AC Milan Starting Lineups Juventus (4-3-3): Szczesny; Cancelo, Alex Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci; Betancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Ronaldo, Douglas Costa
AC Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Zapata, Romagnoli, Rodriguez; Kessiè, Paquetà, Bakayoko; Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Higuain
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