AC Milan can lay down gauntlet with Juventus win

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Italian giants AC Milan can lay down the gauntlet to current champions Juventus with victory at the San Siro on Saturday evening.

Filippo Inzaghi’s men have started the campaign promisingly with successive victories over Lazio and Parma, scoring eight goals in the process.

Juventus have started the defence of their crown similarly convincingly, with wins over Chievo and Udinese achieved without a single goal being conceded.

Both will meet in a mouthwatering clash full of intriguing subplots, in a match that could prove decisive to determining the destination of the Serie A title when the season concludes in May.

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Mighty Milan

Current Juventus manager Massimiliano Allegri was sacked by the Italian side in January and replaced by Clarence Seedorf, who has since been dismissed himself.

Eyebrows were raised by the decision to appoint another managerial novice in Inzaghi, with further questions arising from their poor pre-season form which included a hiding dished out by Manuel Pellegrini’s Manchester City and another defeat to Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool.

However they have hit the ground running this time around, and now possess a squad capable of delivering a first Scudetto since 2011.

Mario Balotelli’s disruptive aura has been instead replaced by the dogged determination of Fernando Torres to recapture his old form, with the Spaniard in line to make his debut against the Old Lady.

Jeremy Menez has scored three times in two appearances to justify Inzaghi’s decision to lure him from Paris St Germain, with Diego Lopez another shrewd acquisition from Real Madrid.

Their two wins have seen them display attacking football, but the narrow 5-4 win away at Parma suggests their defensive capabilities are still not up to scratch.

Allegri arsenal

Allegri heads back to Milan armed with an arsenal of attacking riches that could wreak havoc upon his former side’s flailing defence.

The Italian manager will be hoping to prove a point to his former side and appease any in Turin that were unhappy with the club’s decision to appoint him as Antonio Conte’s successor.

Carlos Tevez remains the talisman – the Argentine having scored twice against Swedish side Malmo in the Champions League in midweek – but Alvaro Morata and Fernando Llorente are also consistent goalscorers.

Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba should both start having snubbed big money moves to the Premier League in the summer, and will be hoping to dictate the game from the start.

Like Milan they have started the season flawlessly, and are yet to concede a single goal thus far.

It will be something Torres, Menez and Stephan El Shaarawy will be looking to change but the Turin outfit are the favourites having lost just twice all of last season.

Crunch clash

Milan will be hoping for home comforts to deliver them a third successive victory, in a result that would show their spell in the dark ages could end sooner rather than later.

However the Juventus juggernaut will be difficult to stop, with Allegri keen to silence those that have poured scorn on his reign so far.

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AC Milan
Serie A
Fernando Torres
UEFA Champions League
Italy Football
Carlos Tevez

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