To still be unbeaten in the league at the end of February is a remarkable feat. To maintain this record Gianluigi Buffon, Giorgio Chiellini and Stephan Lichtsteiner will need to at the absolute top of their game to stop a rampant Milan team that has scored 48 goals in the league this season.
2011-12 has been yet another fantastic season for the player who has long been considered the most consistent goalkeeper in the world. In his 21 matches this season, the man with 112 international caps has kept 12 clean sheets. Commanding as ever, Buffon has shown this season that age is just a number. His shot stopping has been brilliant, he remains the world’s best under pressure from corners and his ability to rush out and steal the ball off the feet of attackers is as good as when he started.
The statistics show that he has made 55 saves this season, and if that number seems low then it is down to the men in front of him. Giorgio Chiellini would, on current form, be in the starting Xl of players made up from all of Europe’s top leagues. When you see him marshalling the defence and making last ditch tackles, you would never think he started out as a left-back. A classic sweeper, his use of the ball has been brilliant this season and he starts a lot of attacks from deep with his tremendous left-foot. He also loves to get involved, and even though he’s only scored twice, he creates a lot of chances for others with his movement from set-pieces.
Stephan Lichtensteiner is one of the most improved players in Italy. Solid while at Lazio, he has taken his game to a new level this year. Perhaps it is the influence of his centre-back and goalkeeper, because his defending has risen to a level comparable with his attacking. While at Lazio he was known as an energetic full-back but his dependability this season has been impressive. An eye-catching sight when going forward, a feature of Juventus’ play this year has been his movement and strong running on the right.
When the two best teams in any league meet the whole country sits down to watch. If the PUMA trio play like they have all season then Juventus could leave the San Siro with a victory and one hand on the Serie A title.