Milan-Juventus Preview: Grudgematch

Many of you know that I have long shared a home with a Juventino and thus also harbored a healthy respect for Juventus. But that is all over now. I have seen one Superga banner too many. Heard one too many racist chants against Balotelli when he wasn’t even there. Watched fans mock the Gol di Muntari with just a little too much glee. So Sunday, I want our boys to beat Juventus or die trying. This one is personal.

Not even sure what is going on here.

Juventus are on a run that is absolutely ridiculous. I’m not gonna claim they’re cheating or doping or anything. Because if they were, Pirlo wouldn’t look like he’s aged 30 years in just three. I’m not going to claim that they’re bribing referees because if they were, they would still be in the Champions League. I don’t want to accuse them of anything because having soulless fans who are the plague of Serie A is more than enough. Because that is one hundred percent true. Juve are the most fined club for fan abuse in Serie A in recent years by a landslide. And that is why I would be willing to sacrifice our boys just to get one result. One night of justice is all I’m asking.

With 31 points and eight spots on the table difference, I’m sure Juventus are licking their lips at this match. But they should not be quite so quick to salivate. We are playing at the San Siro, and there are already 68,000 tickets sold for this match. They also played a Europa League match on Thursday, and that will likely impact them, too. Okay, so they’ve only lost one league game this season, to Fiorentina back in October. And maybe they have a 17 game unbeaten streak in the league right now. But even in our Allegrified, inept state, we put up a fight at Juventus stadium in October, losing 3-2. So defeating them on Sunday will be difficult, but not impossible.

That's right, Juve, that's the Champions League logo there. Even with Allegri, we made it through

Consider also that their Derby win over rivals Torino last weekend was a very tough match. The 1-0 win was marred by a blatant non-penalty call that would have undoubtedly ended the match in a draw. For that match, Conte Wormtongue lined up Buffon; Caceres, Barzagli, Bonucci; Pogba Pirlo, Asamoah, Vidal, Lichtsteiner; Tevez, and Llorente. However, Wormtongue will have to do without Vidal, as he is suspended, and Asamoah is doubtful due to a muscle injury. He is also still without Vucinic and Pepe to long-term injuries. Unfortunately, they will still have Tevez, the league’s joint top-scorer with 14 goals, and Llorente, who has an impressive 10 goals as well.

Meanwhile, Milan are still weakened by injury. Balotelli is still doubtful as of this writing. Interestingly, whether it was due to injury or suspension, he has yet to face Juve while playing for Milan. And although Birsa and Robinho  made it back to training and De Sciglio’s ankle also seems to be fine, we will still be missing El Shaarawy, Silvestre and Zapata. I have not heard if Abbiati and Bonera have recovered from the flu, but would expect them to be available.

Between our 12th man and our Jedi coach, we may just stand a chance

Juventus will not know exactly what to expect. With Milan’s form returning under Seedorf, back to back wins under our belts, and a full week of not playing, Seedorf’s new Milan could prove very dangerous. And with Conte’s recent media meltdown over comments made by legendary former Juventus and Milan coach Fabio Capello, maybe there are just enough weaknesses from top to bottom for Milan to exploit.

For me, this is a grudgematch. We need to win it or die trying. There is no way to recover our season after the first half follies, but there is a way to recover our pride: beat Juve. It’s only a chance, but it’s a chance I’d like to take. Their fans are some of the most despicable in football, and they don’t deserve the glory their team gives them. So if we can manage a miracle, I’d love to take them down a notch. Oh, and three points would be nice, too. Because for me, this one is personal. Forza Milan!

This match inspired by the music of NIN

Milan vs. Juventus
Sunday, March 2 • 20:45 CET (2:45 EST)
This match will be shown LIVE on BeIN Sport and RAI in the U.S.
Check here for stream links ahead of the match 

Milan-Juventus Preview: Grudgematch Milan-Juventus Preview: Grudgematch Reviewed by Elaine on 4:57 AM Rating: 5
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