The two most successful clubs in Italian football meet for the 226th time when they go head-to-head at the Allianz Stadium in Turin on Saturday.
This clash is vital for both sides but under different circumstances. The hosts will be looking to extend their two-point lead over second placed Napoli at the top of Serie A, meanwhile, Milan will hope they can close the gap on fourth placed rivals, Inter.
Juventus’ run of 12 straight victories came to an abrupt end when relegation battlers SPAL held them to a 0-0 draw. I Rossoneri won their last game against Chievo thanks to Andre Silva’s late heroics.
Juventus go into the game 15 points ahead of their opponents, but Massimiliano Allegri will know that their league positions won’t matter in a game of this magnitude, as it’s what happens on the pitch that counts.
I Bianconeri seem to be going from strength to strength this season, having won 14 of their last 16 Serie A games. They are also 24 games unbeaten, with their last defeat coming against Sampdoria back in November.
The visitors are on an impressive run themselves, going 10 Serie A games unbeaten, winning their last five. However, they may be in for their toughest test of the season when they attempt to go toe-to-toe with a Juve side that haven’t conceded a single league goal in 2018.
The iconic San Siro stadium was filling with smoke and bright red flares before kickoff, and despite the electric atmosphere, this match-up was very much a game of two halves.
In the first half, both sides were cautious in their play, both waiting for the other to make a mistake. But overall, it was a rather bland first half, with both sides failing to make an impact on the game.
With the game nearing the hour mark, Milan were awarded a free kick in a wide position.
Demetrio Albertini stood over the ball and floated a pinpoint cross onto the head of Massimo Ambrosini. The Rossoneri man lost his marker and headed in at the far post, leaving Edwin Van De Sar with no chance.
Just a minute later, Milan doubled their lead through a more recognized goalscorer in Andriy Shevchenko who headed home from close range. Milan looked like they were cruising until Zinedine Zidane waltzed past the Rossoneri midfield before delivering a perfect cross which was headed in by substitute David Trezeguet.
In injury time, Antonio Conte picked up the ball 25-yards from goal and tried his luck with a powerful effort. His thunderous drive brushed the fingertips of the diving Abbiati and found the corner of the Milan goal, sparking wild and mandatory Conte celebrations.
The hosts are set to be without Giorgio Chiellini, Sami Khedira and Alex Sandro as they go into this key clash. They are all expected to be rested for the midweek Champions League clash against Real Madrid on Tuesday.
Mario Mandzukic was sent home early from international duty so he is likely to start. Meanwhile, Federico Bernardeschi should learn over the next few days whether he requires surgery that would effectively end his season.
As for Gattuso’s side, Alessio Romagnoli has returned to training ahead of this Saturday’s trip to Juventus. Barring any setbacks, he should be available.