Though many would deny it, last month’s inauguration of the Juventus Stadium was a rather bittersweet pill to swallow for Bianconeri fans.
On the one hand, there was the indignity of allowing Lee Hughes the honour of scoring in Juventus’ new digs; on the other, the knowledge that the Turinese side would finally be able to move out of the Comunale, where Sunday’s visitors Milan have won two in two.
Last season, the Rossoneri recorded an important win – courtesy of Gennaro Gattuso – which helped them on their way to their first Serie A title since 2004. According to bwin, they aren’t far behind their rivals in the 3way betting market, at 2/1, with a draw priced at 11/5.
The home side will be under pressure to perform, having only picked up two points and as many goals in its last two Serie A encounters.
Their opponents have certainly not hit their stride either, Massimiliano Allegri’s men replying to their 3-1 mauling at the hands of Napoli with a couple of unflattering wins against weak opposition.
Add to that Juventus’ tactical dilemma and Milan’s injuries (no Alexandre Pato, Robinho or Massimo Ambrosini), and you understand why the smart money would have you bet on a tight game with few goals, with a 1-1 score the most probable at 5/1.
This would, however, mean ignoring the fact that goals tend to be on the agenda in this particular fixture, so focus on the 5/1 which says we’ll see five or more hit the back of the net.
We’ve seen Juventus trump their rivals by big scores over the last few years (4-2 and 3-2), whilst the Rossoneri will no doubt be boosted by the fact that, after their last five wins in Turin, they have only failed to pick up the title once.
Who can forget Clarence Seedorf’s brilliant brace back in 2004? Incidentally, such an eventuality is quoted at 33/1 tonight. He scored against Cesena, after all…
Certainly, both sides have still shown they can score plentifully, as the Bianconeri did against Parma (4-1) on the opening day of the season. Juve are 13/5 to net twice, 8/5 to do so once.
A four-goal game is rated at 5/1, odds that appear less improbable when one takes a quick glance at the probable lineups, to find “full-backs” like Ignazio Abate (how much of a head start did he have on Lionel Messi again?), Fabio Grosso and, possibly, Taye Taiwo tipped to make an appearance.
Juventus’ defence creaked so ominously last week that they allowed Catania two glorious chances to retake the lead, chances that Vincenzo Montella would not have squandered had he put himself on in his suit and Gucci shoes.
One element might make a massive difference: Antonio Conte’s formation. Were he to go for the 4-2-2-2 (it’s not a 4-2-4) he used in Juventus’s first three Serie A games, then a repeat of AC Milan’s derby triumph over Leonardo’s Inter last season appears likely, with a two-man midfield being swamped by Allegri’s diamond-shaped pack.
To conclude, a quick note on the scorers. Alessandro Matri needs to prove he deserves his €15.5 million price tag after only one goal in four games (he’s 5/1 to score first), though it might be worth betting on the 19/2 for Mirko Vucinic scoring his second career brace against Milan.
For those interested in joining us, bwin are offering a free £25 bet, which might quickly turn into a hefty £237.50 should this bet on the Montenegrin striker come in.
Avoid Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 4/1 to open the scoring, as his confidence wanes on big nights like these. His goal against the Bianconeri last season was the first time he’d ever netted against one of his old Italian sides, and that was when Milan were already two down.
The home side have two players who might make a difference from the bench: Alessandro Del Piero and Fabio Quagliarella are 6/1 and 7/1 respectively to score the last goal of the game, with the latter promising to buy his teammates lunch and dinner should he score.
Remember, he only offered everyone supper last year…and scored.
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