Two of Italy’s most successful clubs face off in the Middle East as they look to secure their first piece of silverware this season in the Supercoppa Italiana. Here are our Three Keys to the game. You can bet on the match here.
Cristiano Ronaldo v Gonzalo Higuain
Serie A’s top scorer and one of the world’s best players, Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to add the Supercoppa Italiana to his long list of trophies when his team, Juventus, take on AC Milan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Ronaldo has done well in Juventus with 15 goals scored in all competitions this season. He’ll be happy to face a Rossoneri defence which has shipped in 29 goals in Serie A and the Europa League.
Despite the speculation going around, Gonzalo Higuain wouldn’t be fussed as he’ll be looking to help Milan secure the trophy, with most of their goal scoring responsibilities resting on his shoulders. The Argentine, who will be facing his parent club, has had a stop-start career in Milan, as he has netted eight times in 21 occasions.
Whoever performs best out of these two could go a long way to determining the outcome of this match.
Experience v Youth
Juventus are battle-hardened. Most of their squad players have played in a lot of finals and won plenty of trophies between them. The Old Lady has been a dominant force in Italian football, winning the last four league and cup doubles and will be looking to continue their run when they clash with Milan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Juve have also played in two of the last UEFA Champions League finals. With the experience they possess, Massimiliano Allegri’s men will head into the match with full confidence.
AC Milan last won a major title in 2011 when they were crowned Serie A champions. Despite heading into the encounter as underdogs, they will draw inspiration from their 2016 Supercoppa Italiana triumph over Wednesday opponents.
What will win the day? The experience of Juve, or the youthful endeavor of Milan?
Juventus mean defence v Milan’s goal scoring struggles
Juventus have been monsters in defence this season. The Old Lady have conceded just 11 goals in the Serie A this term and Milan will need something monumental to breach the meanest defence in Italy. Their lynchpin Giorgio Chiellini will be missed surely but they have more than enough personnel who can cover the absence of the 34-year-old. Alongside Leonardo Bonucci, they form one of the best central defensive partnerships in Europe and Higuain and co. will have to be very clinical.
Milan are a shadow of their former selves. The team has struggled in attack. Forwards like Higuain, and 21-year-old Lucas Paqueta, Samu Castillejo and Patrick Cutrone have lost their shooting boots and they have only scored 26 goals between them in Serie A this season, one of the lowest returns for sides in the top ten. However, they can cause Juventus a few problems in what is expected to be a pulsating encounter.