The ninth round of Serie A opens with two extremely important games in which Inter and Juventus are fighting to stay in the race for the scudetto after nine rounds, which speaks volumes about the problems facing the two teams. However, even Milan cannot be calm before tonight’s clash with Juve after a heavy defeat by Chelsea in the Champions League.
Defeats from Chelsea in the Champions League and from Napoli at San Siro in Serie A have made tonight’s duel take on much greater importance for Milan, not only for Juve, than the 9-round game should have. Milan enters today’s match weakened, but the consolation for coach Stefano Pioli is the return to the squad of Theo Hernandez, so the left flank of the champions of Italy will be in the complete lineup with the Frenchman and Leao. A completely different situation on the right flank. Pioli must return Piero Kalulu to the position of right back because Davide Calabria and Alessandro Florenzi are injured, and Sergio Dest did not give guarantees that he could be an adequate replacement. In the offensive part, Junior Mesiias and Alexis Saelemaekers are also out of action, so Rade Krunic will once again be Pioli’s wildcard for everyone.
Juve cannot, in addition to long-injured players Federico Chiesa and Paul Pogba, count on Angel Di Maria (suspended due to a red card) and Mattia De Sciglio. Those absences prompted Max Allegri to prepare a 4-4-2 formation for tonight’s clash. In general, there is only one dilemma regarding the composition of the Bianconeri and that is in the middle of the field: Leandro Paredes or Manuel Locatelli.
Adrien Rabio, apart from enjoying the great trust of Allegri, is in the best form among the midfielders of the Old Lady and now he is expected to make a qualitative jump, that is, to play at a high level and one match against an extremely strong opponent.
Juventus have a positive record with Milan, but no other team in Serie A has managed to win and draw as many times with the Bianconeri as the Rossoneri: 51 Milan wins, 56 draws, and 67. Milan and Juve have ended their last two meetings with draws, and fifty years have passed since the last time they drew three times in a row.
Despite the fact that Milan won the championship, they pay twice as little for players as Juventus. All players cost the Rossoneri a little less than 100 million euros, while Juventus pays almost 200 million for its playing park.