Juventus will look to return to winning ways and keep the pressure on Inter Milan when they take on AC Monza at Stadio Brianteo on Friday.
Serie A football resumes on Friday after the midweek pause for European fixtures. The latest round of fixtures — Matchday 14 — will kick off at Stadio Brianteo, where AC Milan will host Juventus, hoping to clinch another win over the Bianconeri.
2023/24 is only the second-ever Serie A campaign for AC Monza, who earned promotion to the top flight for the first time last year. The Biancorossi did well in the 2022/23 season, narrowly missing out on a top-half finish. And Raffaele Palladino’s men have stepped up this term, rising to nine on the table amid a four-game unbeaten run.
On the other hand, Juventus could not have hoped for a better 2023/24 campaign thus far. While they have not risen to the Serie A summit, Massimiliano Allegri’s charges are only two points and a spot behind the table-topping Inter Milan. And the visitors are currently on an eight-game unbeaten run, the best in Serie A.
The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 1-0 win for Monza over ten-man Juventus, with Christian Gytkjaer scoring the match-winner. The Hard Tackle takes a closer look at the encounter ahead of the latest meeting between the two sides.
Team News & Tactics
Raffaele Palladino does not have any new roster issues hampering his preparations ahead of his side’s latest fixture. Against Juventus on Friday, the AC Monza manager will be bereft of the services of four first-team players.
Armando Izzo (muscle), Samuele Vignato (match fitness), and Gianluca Caprari (knee) remain on the sidelines. In addition, Papu Gomez will not take the field in a competitive game before 2025 after failing a drug test.
Michele Di Gregorio will take his spot between the sticks, with Monza lining up in a 3-4-3 formation in front of him against Juventus. The central defensive unit should feature Pablo Mari, Danilo D’Ambrosio, and Luca Caldirola. Meanwhile, Patrick Ciurria and Georgios Kyriakopoulos should be the two wing-backs.
The duo will often drop deep to create a back five, which will frustrate the Juventus attackers by cutting off the passing lanes. The wing-backs will also support the two midfielders — Roberto Gagliardini and Matteo Pessina — in the middle of the park. Finally, Lorenzo Colombo should spearhead the attack, with Andrea Colpani and Dany Mota completing the numbers up front.
Probable Lineup (3-4-3): Di Gregorio; D’Ambrosio, Pablo Mari, Caldirola; Ciurria, Gagliardini, Pessina, Kyriakopoulos; Colpani, Colombo, Dany Mota
Like his counterpart in the Monza dugout, Massimiliano Allegri does not have any new issues to deal with ahead of the trip to Stadio Brianteo. The Juventus manager will be without four first-team players on Friday.
Paul Pogba and Nicolo Fagioli are long-term absentees, with the duo serving suspensions for their respective off-field issues. In addition, Mattia De Sciglio (knee) and Timothy Weah (hamstring) are nursing their injuries.
Wojciech Szczesny will take his spot between the sticks, with Juventus lining up in a 3-5-2 formation in front of him against Monza. The central defensive unit should feature Federico Gatti, Gleison Bremer, and Daniele Rugani. Meanwhile, Andrea Cambiaso and Filip Kostic will be the two wing-backs.
The duo will provide width in the offensive third, with their crosses bringing the attackers into the picture. As for the midfield unit, Weston McKennie, Manuel Locatelli, and Adrien Rabiot should form the dynamic trifecta in the middle of the park. Finally, Dusan Vlahovic and Federico Chiesa will be the two forwards, with the latter pulling the strings for Juventus against Monza.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Szczesny; Gatti, Bremer, Rugani; Cambiaso, McKennie, Locatelli, Rabiot, Kostic; Vlahovic, Chiesa
- AC Monza are yet to lose a Serie A game against Juventus, winning both fixtures last season. The Biancorossi can become the first club to clinch a win in their first three Serie A outings against the Turin giants. Parma was the last team to beat Juventus three times in a row in Serie A.
- Monza have not conceded more than once in their most recent 10 Serie A matches (seven goals). That is the longest open streak of games without at least two goals let in among the teams currently active in Serie A.
- Juventus have kept eight clean sheets in Serie A this season, with only OGC Nice (10) ahead of them across the top-five European leagues. In addition, they have recorded an xGA of 8.7, with only Bayern Munich (8.5) boasting a lower tally.
- Monza have conceded only four goals in their last eight home games in Serie A. Across this period, they boast the best defence in the competition among teams that have played since the 2022/23 season.
- Massimiliano Allegri has only failed to beat two clubs in Serie A, AC Monza being one of them (Reggina the other).
Player to Watch
A lot can change in a few weeks in football. If we go back to August, Dusan Vlahovic was not a happy camper at Juventus after a dreadful first full season at the Allianz Stadium. Widespread speculation surrounded his future, and some outlets even suggested that the Turin giants were ready to part ways with him.
Fast forward a little over ten weeks and while speculation still surrounds Vlahovic’s future, it is a result of his promising performances. Meanwhile, the Serb feels more secure at the Allianz Stadium. But his output has wobbled somewhat in the last few games, meaning he should step up, starting with the game between Juventus and Monza.
AC Monza 1-1 Juventus
AC Monza might not have fancied beating Juventus twice last season. But that might have created a mental block at the Allianz Stadium, especially considering how the club’s standards have fallen in the last few years.
In addition, the hosts boast an excellent record at Stadio Brianteo, which can become a fortress if their usual performances continue. The White and Reds should give their visitors a run for their money while rarely leaving any openings at the back. Eventually, there might not be much to separate Monza and Juventus. So, The Hard Tackle predicts a 1-1 draw between the two teams.