Italian champions Juventus and Coppa Italia runners-up AC Milan will square off in the Supercoppa Italiana in Doha on Friday in front of sold-out stadium.
The Bianconeri have been made strong favourites to win, but the Rossoneri will want to prove they are capable of matching the best sides in Italy.
This is proving to be another successful season for Juventus and everything suggests they will add sixth straight league title to their trophy cabinet.
While doing pretty well in the opening exchanges, the Bianconeri made the decisive step towards top table finish last weekend as they recorded a 1-0 triumph over then second-placed AS Roma.
It was summer recruit Gonzalo Higuain who scored yet another important goal for his new side, proving the huge amount of money invested in his services didn’t go to waste.
Juventus players now face a long trip to Doha and the Supercoppa Italiana clash against AC Milan before they get some time off during the holiday season, and they can be trusted to get the job done.
Head coach Max Allegri decided to take Andrea Barzagli and Marko Pjaca to Doha as the pair builds up their fitness, while youngsters Mattias Anderson and Luca Coccolo are also included.
The highly rated tactician is expected to ring some changes to his starting line-up, meaning we should see Juan Cuadrado, Mario Lemina and Kwadwo Asamoah in the side.
Probable starting line-up (3-5-2): Buffon – Benatia, Rugani, Evra – Cuadrado, Lemina, Marchisio, Pjanic, Asamoah – Higuain, Dybala.
It was AC Milan that won the last Serie A trophy before Juventus’ domination began, and the Rossoneri then finished as runners up next term before their free fall started.
The Stadio San Siro outfit have since struggled to keep up with the Bianconeri on domestic stage, and they are in the Supercoppa Italiana despite losing last year’s Coppa Italia final.
AC Milan did show signs of improvement this term, climbing to third in the Serie A standings, but back to back setbacks against AS Roma and Atalanta seriously damaged their top 3 hopes.
Having failed to score in either of those games, the Rossoneri will clearly need to do better up front if they want to see off Juventus in Doha.
The injury situation at San Siro has seriously improved of late, although Riccardo Montolivo and David Calabria remain sidelined.
Vincenzo Montella does have some doubts over his starting line-up, with Carlos Bacca expected to be preferred to Gianluca Lapadula.
Probable starting line-up (4-3-3): Donnarumma – Abate, Paletta, Romagnoli, De Sciglio – Kucka, Bertolacci, Pasalic – Suso, Bacca, Bonaventura.