Milan face a test against Juventus on Wednesday evening in their quest for a first Scudetto in a decade.
The Rossoneri remain unbeaten in Serie A this season and kicked off 2021 with a plucky, hard-fought win against Benevento at the weekend. They must now dispatch the side who have dominated the league for the last decade in order to stay ahead of Inter, who sit just one point behind them in second.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been key to the change in pace in Milan, but Stefano Pioli’s youthful side are thriving without the 39-year-old who has been out with injury since the end of November.
And despite the inconsistency marring Juve this season, form will go out of the window in a clash as important as this. Here’s how Milan could line up for the fixture.
Gianluigi Donnarumma (GK) – The 21-year-old has been immense for Milan this season and plays like a veteran. With big clubs circling, they must get him signed to a new deal immediately.
Davide Calabria (RB) – Calabria has turned it around in Milan and is in the form of his life this season. Given licence to roam forward, he’s becoming an impressive attacking full-back.
Simon Kjaer (CB) – Milan had to do without Kjaer towards the back end of 2020 and missed his experience at the back. The 31-year-old is a veteran head among youth and steadies the ship.
Alessio Romagnoli (CB) – The captain leads the charge in defence and has formed an incredible partnership with Kjaer. Tireless.
Theo Hernandez (LB) – Hernandez is quietly operating as one of the best full-backs in Europe this season. He’s already picked up four goals and three assists this season and, like Calabria, thrives with freedom to roam forward.
Rade Krunic (DM) – With Ismael Bennacer injured and Sandro Tonali suspended, Krunic gets a chance to stake his claim in the starting XI.
Franck Kessie (DM) – Kessie has been a standout performer in the midfield this season, but will have to kick it up another level with his usual partners out of the running.
Samuel Castillejo (RM) – The Spaniard made his return as a substitute against Benevento, thus will likely be able to make a start against Juventus.
Hakan Calhanoglu (AM) – Calhanoglu is the creative force for Milan and makes their attackers tick. He’s notched seven league assists so far and must be tied down to a new contract with his best years still ahead of him.
Ante Rebic (LM) – Milan’s utility man, Rebic never stops running and could be key on the counterattack for his side.
Rafael Leao (ST) – Leao has taken the central role in the absence of Ibrahimovic and is making good on the chance. He’s already bagged four goals and three assists in Serie A and is well on track to better his tally from last season. At just 21, he’s one for the future.