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Juventus vs. AC Milan: Serie A Preview, Team News and Projected Lineups

MILAN, ITALY - AUGUST 21:  Antonio Cassano of AC Milan and Mirko Vucinic of Juventus FC during the Berlusconi Trophy match between AC Milan and Juventus FC at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on August 21, 2011 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images
Michael CummingsWorld Football Lead WriterSeptember 29, 2011

It's the Old Lady versus the Rossoneri.

Tradition versus tradition.

Pirlo versus his old club.

Juventus versus AC Milan.

Two of Italy's most famous clubs highlight this weekend's Serie A schedule with a match that kicks off at 2:45 Eastern time on Sunday. And there are plenty of storylines to talk about.

Juventus sits joint-top of the Serie A table with eight points from four matches. Antonio Conte's squad opened the season with two straight wins and drew their next two matches.

AC Milan is 12th with five points from four matches. Massimiliano Allegri's team went winless in three matches to start the season before beating Cesena 1-0 last weekend. The Rossoneri lost 3-1 at Napoli on September 18.

Both teams won on the other's home pitch last term. Juventus grabbed a 2-1 victory at the San Siro on October 30, 2010, and Milan returned the favor with a 1-0 win in Turin in March.

 

This Season

Allegri and Milan are already feeling the strain, just weeks into this season, of competing on multiple fronts.

This week, Allegri urged his team not to think about Juventus until after Milan's Champions League match against Viktoria Plzen. Milan won that game 2-0.

MILAN, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 28:  Luca Antonini of AC Milan is challenged by Milan Petrzela of Viktoria Plzen during the UEFA Champions League group H match between AC Milan and FC Viktoria Plzen at Giuseppe Meazza Stadium on September 28, 2011 in Milan, Ital
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Juventus, which did not qualify for Europe, has spent its time this week preparing for Milan.

Here's what Allegri said afterward the Plzen match:

"When you win, you must physically recover first," Allegri continued. "For a month we have had so many commitments with the same nucleus of players, and today we admittedly struggled a bit with fatigue towards the end, and we could have played the ball better.

"We will also see other players return, [such as] Robinho and Pato, and this means that I will have more options; maybe someone could be able to rest in a few games or also feature alongside Ibrahimovic and Cassano."

Milan striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic returned to the lineup against Plzen after a two-week layoff due to an ankle injury.

Juventus midfielder Andrea Pirlo will face his former club for the first time since a summer move away from the San Siro. In 10 seasons with Milan, Pirlo won two Serie A titles and two Champions League medals.

"Pirlo is another important player, and we will have to mark him but also others," said Allegri.  "Juventus have the advantage of playing just once a week, so it will be more difficult for us."

 

Team News

AC Milan

CATANIA, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 25:  Milos Krasic of Juventus during the Serie A match between Catania Calcio and Juventus FC at Stadio Angelo Massimino on September 25, 2011 in Catania, Italy.  (Photo by Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images)
Maurizio Lagana/Getty Images

French defender Philippe Mexes is now fit and hopes to make his Milan debut soon.

Kevin-Prince Boateng remains a doubt. The Ghanaian midfielder suffered a rib injury against Barcelona.

Alexandre Pato is still out with a hamstring injury.

 

Juventus

Defender Andrea Barzagli picked up a minor ankle injury in Sunday's draw against Catania. His status for Sunday is uncertain.

 

Projected Starting Lineups

AC Milan

 Abbiati; Nesta, Abate, Thiago Silva, Antonini; van Bommel, Seedorf, Aquilani, Emanuelson; Ibrahimovic, Cassano

 

Juventus

 Buffon; Chiellini, Barzagli, Grosso, Lichtsteiner; Pirlo, Pepe, Elia, Krasic; Quagliarella, Pardo

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