PRE MATCH: JUVENTUS VS MILAN.
Old rivals AC Milanand Scudetto-holders Juventus meet on the Epiphany this Wednesday, traditionally a day of revelation and celebration that carries great significance in Italy.
On one of the most important nights in the cultural calendar, the defending champions visit San Siro desperately in need of a win to haul back their Milanese counterparts, who still top the Serie A standings.
Now clearly ahead in the Capocannoniere charts on 14 goals, Juventus goal scoring machine Cristiano Ronaldo netted another pair of goals in Sunday's comfortable 4-1 victory over Udinese - a win which they will hope to use as a warm-up for their biggest test of the season so far.
Their over-reliance on one man to carry the attack though - as Juve have only the sixth-best goalscoring record in Serie A this season and Ronaldo has scored nearly half of them - has undermined any sustained attempt at catching up with the leaders.
Therefore, the chief reason for the Bianconeri's current double-digit points deficit to Milan is clearly apparent. Juventus have recorded six draws in Serie A this season after 14 games played, with many of those failures to seal maximum points coming in the absence of their Portuguese superstar.
In fact, the last time that Juve drew so many of their games at this point was back in 2001-02, when they did actually go on to lift the title under the guidance of club legend Marcelo Lippi.
It will take a comeback of seismic proportions to achieve a similar feat this time around though, as both Milan clubs look to go from strength to strength.
If the impossible dream is going to occur inAndrea Pirlo'ss first season in charge, Juventus must not only resist Milan's super-efficient attack on Wednesday, but also break a notable current run of failure against the league's bigger boys such as Roma, Lazio and Atalanta.
In short, all three points at San Siro are essential - even at this relatively early stage of the season - so underperforming stars such as Paulo Dybala will have to help take the fight to a fresh-faced and motivated Milan outfit.
It looks like Juventus has turned the corner. Look for them to come out strong from the outset. It will be tough fought win at the San Siro .
Prediction: Milan 0-1 Juventus