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Juventus-Milan Preview: Housewarming

Many of you who read regularly may remember that I am married to a Juventino, so this week preceding the big matchup is always “smacktalk week” around here. This time, Milan are wearing the Scudetto patch on their uniforms, and tired from midweek Champions League play, whereas Juventus are welcoming us to their new stadium, having also spent the most money in the mercato on reinforcements. So I decided that we should give them a little housewarming gift. How about Milan hand them their first home loss in their new stadium? Yes, it’s the gift that keeps on giving, as the loss of 3 points will affect them all season long. You’re welcome in advance, honey.
The seating arrangements at my place on Sunday.

So around here, we have the line of demarcation on the couch for the 90 minutes of the match. No one and nothing crosses it. Depending on the outcome, the level of smacktalk, etc., one of us will have bragging rights, and the other one of us may be sleeping on said couch that evening. For Juventus and Milan, it is not so different. If Juventus win, they are likely to retain their place at the top of the table, plus bragging rights. If they lose, Milan draw level with them on points, even if Juve may still have goal differential, and Juve lose their first match in their spiffy new stadium. (sleeping on the couch.) Whereas Milan stand to break back into the top 10, probably even top 5 with a win, plus bragging rights, or crawl underneath the couch, should they lose.


So there is as much or more than usual on the line for this epic matchup. If you’ll remember, we lost our 45 minute match to them in the Trofeo TIM, but then beat them in the full length Trofeo Berlusconi match. But they have gotten off to a better start in Serie A with 2 wins and 2 draws, to our singular win, 2 draws, and a loss. They have more depth, we have more injuries. They are fighting on a singular front, whereas we have been playing in Serie A and in Champions League. Plus with the magic of the new stadium and the best home advantage now in the league, we are definitely the underdogs.

Someone needs to defile it, that's all I'm saying. It's too pretty.

Antonio Conte looks like a hardened criminal who has got to change his ways to maintain his freedom, with Juve’s return to glory being the task at hand. With those cold, steely eyes, it is no wonder those players are ready to do exactly what he says. And it sounds like he is saying he will put out a strong 4-2-4 against us on Sunday. Vucinic is coming off of a one match ban, but rumored to start. Other attacking weapons include the very gifted Matri, the legendary Del Piero, the new young Chilean Arturo Vidal, and the recently recovered Quagliarella, who has offered to buy the team both lunch and dinner should he score against Milan. Oh, and don’t forget Toni, who can still knock a goal or two in when asked.

Just typing about their squad is depressing, considering the state of ours. In the middle are the more than capable Claudio Marchisio and also one Andrea Pirlo, whom we know all too well. On the wings will likely be the very talented Krasic and newcomer Elia. Behind them will be the brilliant signing Lichtsteiner and likely De Ceglie, just returning from injury. Chiellini and Barzagli are likely to be the strong centers, all backed up by the legendary Buffon.

Father, forgive me, for I have sinned. But I'm coming back in the red and black, bitches!

Allegri’s answer to this will be 11 hopefully warm bodies. Up front I would expect the magical pairing of Ibra and Cassano. Behind them he could put Aquaman or Emanuelson. We are likely to have Kevin Prince Boateng back, we’ll see if he gets to start. Also, Ambrosini may return, but I would expect him to be a sub. Otherwise, Nocerino, van Bommel and Seedorf could feature again. Our back line should be the standard, although Allegri will have to choose between Antonini, who had a decent game on Wednesday, Taiwo, who hasn’t given a thoroughly convincing 90 minutes just yet, or possibly Zambrotta, who would be facing his old team, just like Ibra. And of course our solid rock of a keeper, Abbiati.

While this game is not a title decider, it does make a significant shift in the table if it is a win-loss situation, and is always an epic match. It also makes a significant shift in the “in your face” comments around here, so I’m REALLY hoping that Milan can pull it off for me. Plus, I really do think it would make a lovely housewarming gift for Juve. I mean last year, they beat us in our house in October, then we beat them in theirs with a Gattuso goal, of all things. I am all for keeping up the tradition for the currently occularly impaired legend, or for any reason I can find, really. I want to go down in the history books as the first team to beat Juve in their pretty new stadium. And I also don’t want to sleep on the couch.

No matter what happens on Sunday, we'll always have this.


This post inspired by the music of Elaine’s adrenaline mix including Rammstein, Prodigy, NIN, Rage Against the Machine, Ministry, Limp Bizkit, Front 242, etc.