Juventus out to bring Milan back down to earth


Published — Saturday 24 November 2012

Last update 24 November 2012 2:08 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

MILAN: AC Milan’s joy at qualifying for the Champions League could be tempered by a desperate need for points in Italy’s Serie A, and the formidable challenge of on-form visitors Juventus tomorrow.
Seven-time winners Milan beat Serie A champions Juventus into the last 16 of Europe’s premier club competition with victory over Anderlecht on Wednesday.
But the Rossoneri’s feat in Brussels will do little to hide the fact their domestic form, compared to the Turin giants, leaves a lot to be desired.
After 13 games, Milan sit in the bottom half of the table with a 17-point deficit on Juventus (32), who have a four-point lead on Inter Milan with Napoli and Fiorentina a point further adrift in third and fourth.
Indeed, if not for the goalscoring talents of forward Stephan El Shaarawy, who has a league-leading tally of 10 goals — half of Milan’s total — the red and black would be in even worse shape.
“Is El Shaarawy the Milan team? He’s the one making the difference for them so, yes, I’d say he is,” Juventus forward Sebastian Giovinco told juventus.com.
Juve, on the other hand, could not be more comfortable.
Since suffering their first defeat in 50 games nearly three weeks ago, they have accounted for Pescara (6-1), dominated Lazio in a scoreless draw and left Chelsea’s Champions League hopes hanging by a thread after a 3-0 rout on Wednesday.
In the corresponding fixture with Milan last year Juventus prevailed 2-1 at the San Siro, with Milan holding the Old Lady to a 1-1 draw in Turin in February.
Milan defender Mattia De Sciglio said: “Sunday’s match against Juventus will be tough, especially with what happened last year. They’re one of the best teams in Italy.” Since their 3-1 reverse at home against Inter Milan, Juventus have been virtually unbeatable.
But what is billed as one of the biggest derbies in Italian football will be hard to predict. In their 77 previous Serie A matches at the San Siro Milan have won 26 times with Juve winning 18 and 33 matches ending in draws.
Coach Antonio Conte, whose lengthy touchline ban ends next month, is taking nothing for granted.
A Juventus win tomorrow meanwhile, would extend their lead over Inter to seven points ahead of the Nerazzurri’s trip to Parma on Monday, when Cagliari host Napoli.
Parma, who sit in ninth, will be hoping for at least a share of the points although Inter have at least two reasons to think otherwise.
Inter are still fuming after being held to a 2-2 draw at home to Cagliari last week when they they were denied a valid penalty claim late in the match. Inter also suffered a 1-0 Europa League defeat Thursday to Rubin Kazan.
Coach Andrea Stramaccioni will sit out a one-match suspension, handed down after he insulted the referee following the Cagliari game while striker Antonio Cassano begins the first of his two-game ban, handed down for the same reason.
Fixtures (all GMT)
Saturday: Palermo v Catania (1845)
Sunday: Chievo v Siena, Pescara v Roma, Sampdoria v Bologna, Torino v Fiorentina, Atalanta v Genoa (all 1300), AC Milan v Juventus (1845)
Monday: Cagliari v Napoli, Parma v Inter Milan.
Tuesday: Lazio v Udinese

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: At the weekly Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Prince Mohammed bin Naif briefed the Cabinet on the talks held by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman with President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi of Yemen,...
JEDDAH: Private schools have been devising new ways to raise money from parents to circumvent the Education Ministry’s cap on fee increases, a local publication reported here recently.Schools now charge for services that do not require the ministry’s...
JEDDAH: Vice Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, Minister of Interior and Chairman of the Supreme Haj Committee Prince Mohammed bin Naif has approved the general plan for implementation of Civil Defense works in emergency cases during the current Haj...
RIYADH: The government has shut down a cosmetics factory in Riyadh for using undisclosed raw materials and unhygienic process at its production facility.A team from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, during a routine inspection, found the plant u...
RIYADH: Recruitment offices here have decided to stop hiring Bangladeshi workers because they claim that a supply crunch has raised costs.Ibrahim Al-Megheimish, a recruitment expert, said that there are too few Bangladeshi workers seeking employment,...
RIYADH: As many as 200 students have enrolled into different courses at the Riyadh-based Saudi Aviation Flight Academy (SAFA) with 70 percent of them being Saudi nationals, said Saleem Bava, head of marketing and admission at SAFA.SAFA offers a mix o...

Stay Connected