AC Milan and Juventus, Italy's two most successful clubs with a combined 45 national championships, clash in what is expected to be a mouthwatering top-of-the-table league clash at the San Siro stadium on Saturday.
Both teams have a rich history and big reputations in both Italian and international soccer, which have been acquired over the years thanks to much hard work.
While the Milan-Juve clash isn't considered the biggest rivalry in Italian soccer, it is surely one of the most highly anticipated each year, as both teams consistently fight for the honours in what is regarded as being "the most difficult" league in the world.
Below are five facts that fans should know about the Milan-Juve rivalry, which in this case tilts the derby Milan's way. However, come Saturday statistics won't matter, as both teams will give it their all to inflict defeat upon one another.
La Vecchia Signora may have the edge over Milan when it comes to the Serie A, with 27 titles to Milan’s 18. But that may only come as a consolation, as the Rossoneri have a significant advantage over their rivals when it comes to European titles. While Juventus have won European soccer’s ultimate prize twice, Milan have won it a staggering 7 times. Only Real Madrid have more titles than Milan (9).
To rub further salt into Juve’s wounds, Milan won the UEFA Champions League final at the expense of their rivals in 2003, with a 3-2 penalty shootout victory after the sides were locked at 0-0 over 120 minutes.
Milan are the only team to have won the Italian championship without losing a single game, this having occurred in the 1991-92 season during a 58-game unbeaten run under the guidance of Fabio Capello. Juventus will be hoping to match their record this season, and have good chances of doing this, after having remained unbeaten through 23 matches thus far.
The Rossoneri won the first confrontation between the rivals 3-2 way back on April 28, 1901. Ettore Negretti scored twice and Herbert Kilpin scored another for Milan. They went on to win the first Italian championship of their entire history that year.
Milan thrashed Juventus 8-1 way back in 1912 for the most lopsided result between the two sides. In fact it still remains Juventus’ second heaviest defeat in their entire history, behind their 8-0 thumping at the hands of city rivals Torino the following year.
Despite having lost their last encounter against Juventus at the San Siro, Milan have a favourable historical advantage over their rivals. In 76 meetings at the venue, the Rossoneri have won 32 games and have lost just 18, with the remaining 26 clashes ending in draws.