Italian football returns this week with the rearranged second leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final between Juventus and AC Milan on Friday.
Gonzalo Higuain is a doubt for Juventus after straining a muscle in training. Zlatan Ibrahmovic is out for AC Milan after snapping his Achilles tendon in May and Theo Hernandez is suspended but Gianluigi Donnarumma is expected to start in goal after recovering from injury.
Players to watch:
With Gonzalo Higuain a doubt, Juventus are likely to switch up their attack, which could see Paulo Dybala handed a start. The Argentinian has had a strange season under Maurizio Sarri, often switching between starting and a place on the bench. Despite the inconsistency of his game time, Dybala has scored 13 goals in all competitions this season, including two in the Coppa Italia, and is Juventus’ second-highest scorer behind Cristiano Ronaldo. It comes after Dybala’s time at Juventus appeared to be up last summer, with a move to Tottenham Hotspur looking almost guaranteed. Now, Dybala is once again being linked with a move away, this time to Barcelona, after the forward admitted it would be nice to play alongside compatriot Lionel Messi at the Nou Camp.
Ante Rebic. AC Milan haven’t had too much to celebrate this season but one positive has been the loan move of Rebic. The Croatian international joined on a two-year loan deal at the start of the season from Eintracht Frankfurt, with AC Milan holding an option to buy. After a relatively slow start to the campaign in which Rebic struggled to get into the starting line-up, the Croatian has found his feet in Italy in 2020. Since the start of the year, Rebic has scored seven goals in all competitions, including against Juventus in the first leg. Those seven goals makes Rebic AC Milan’s top scorer, ahead of the likes of Rafael Leao and Zlatan Ibrahimovic – who he may be expected to replace as the goalscoring threat on Friday
*Juventus are also unbeaten at home against AC Milan in the Coppa Italia since 1985
Juventus have not been beaten in 10 of their last 11 Coppa Italia matches, winning three and drawing three.
*Juventus is undefeated in 10 of its last 11 Coppa Italia matches.
*Ante Rebic has scored seven goals in his last eight games across all competitions for AC Milan.
*Juventus have won each of their last 7 home games against AC Milan in all competition
The Rossoneri have never beaten the Bianconeri at the Allianz Stadium.
*If Juventus reach the final, they will extend their lead over the rest of Italy for most appearances in the showcase event, taking them to 19 finals appearances – two clear of next best AS Roma
*Juventus have been drawing at half-time and winning at full-time in 5 of their last 6 home games in all competitions against AC Milan
Juventus & AC Milan’s previous line-ups:
Juventus (vs Inter Milan): Szczesny; Cuadrado, De Ligt, Bonucci, Alex Sandro; Matuidi, Bentancur, Ramsey; Costa, Higuain*, Ronaldo.
AC Milan (vs Genoa): Begovic; Conti, Gabbia, Romagnoli, Hernandez*; Bennacer, Kessie; Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic*.
Juventus vs AC Milan’s Predicted lineups
(4-3-3): Buffon; Cuadrado, de Ligt, Bonucci, Sandro; Ramsey, Bentancur, Matuidi; Costa, Dybala, Ronaldo
(4-3-2-1): Donnarumma; Conti, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Calabria; Kessie, Bennacer, Bonaventura; Paqueta, Calhanoglu; Rebic