A tussle between two of Serie A’s heavyweight title contenders sees champions AC Milan welcome Juventus to San Siro on Saturday evening.
Having experienced very different fates in Europe this week, the sides convene in Italy’s second city separated by four points and two places in the standings, with the hosts currently holding the upper hand.
Returning from the international break with speculation about Max Allegri’s position still raging, the Bianconeri turned in a more promising performance, in which two goals within three second-half minutes sealed a 3-0 success.
A scorer on Sunday, Dusan Vlahovic returned another goal in midweek, as Juve were inspired by the returning Angel Di Maria – who recorded a hat-trick of assists and would have had two more but for Vlahovic’s wayward finishing – to beat a spirited Maccabi Haifa side in the Champions League.
After a slow start in continental competition, Allegri’s men still trail Group H’s leading pair – Paris Saint-Germain and Benfica – by four points, so have plenty of work to do yet if they are to reach the knockout stages.
Ahead of their return to domestic duty, Juventus may have won six of their last nine meetings with Milan at San Siro, but they have clearly slipped behind their Rossoneri rivals in the pecking order of late.
Among several reasons for their continued decline since Allegri’s return has been below-par away form. Indeed, his side have picked up only two points from three Serie A away matches this season; only once in the last 40 years have Juve failed to win any of their first four on the road.
Angel Di Maria is suspended for the game. Long-term absentees Paul Pogba and Federico Chiesa remain out of commission as well but the latter recently returned to training and should feature before the end of the month. As Mattia De Sciglio is ruled out by a thigh injury sustained on Wednesday, Alex Sandro will be brought back into the first XI.
Juventus predicted starting XI: Szczesny, Danilo, Bonucci, Bremer, Sandro, Cuadrado, Rabiot, Locatelli, Kostic, Vlahovic, Milik.