Parma - AC Milan Preview: Champions look to make it three Serie A wins in a row
The current league leaders and title holders will be hopeful of extending their lead a the top of the standings as they visit the Gialloblu, who are suffering a dip in form
By Adam Scime
Zaccardo, Paletta, Lucarelli
Biabiany, Valiani, Musacci, Mariga, Modesto
Zambrotta, Bonera, Thiago Silva, Mesbah
Nocerino, Ambrosini, Muntari
Ibrahimovic, El Shaarawy
After a promising start under Roberto Donadoni following his appointment in early January, Parma have slowed down significantly, but some positive news for the coach is he will be able to count on recovered first-choice goalkeeper Antonio Mirante and striker Sergio Floccari from the starting whistle.
Young midfielder Gianluca Musacci should be in the first XI also after shaking off a thigh problem while Daniele Galloppa and left-back Massimo Gobbi are expected to be fit enough to make the bench. However former Juventus winger Raffaele Palladino continues to work on a separate training programme and is unlikely to feature.
Meanwhile, AC Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri will have to deal with the loss of right-back Ignazio Abate, who will be sidelined for 15 days due to a thigh problem, so veteran Gianluca Zambrotta should step in as Daniele Bonera will play in the centre alongside Thiago Silva due to the absences of Alessandro Nesta, who is injured, and Philippe Mexes, who is serving the final match of his suspension for a punch on Marco Borriello.
In midfield, the returning Clarence Seedorf and Alberto Aquilani, the latter having made a couple substitute appearances in Serie A and the Champions League recently, are in contention to start while Mark van Bommel could be given a rest.
Further forward on the pitch, strikers Maxi Lopez and Robinho (the Brazilian picked up a minor knock in training) will be evaluated by the medical staff but both are unlikely to be risked with the second leg of their Coppa Italia tie with Juventus coming up, meaning Stephan El Shaarawy should line up beside the in-form Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
||DID YOU KNOW?|
- Parma have not picked up a victory in their last six Serie A matches, earning four draws and suffering two defeats in that span.
- Current Parma coach Donadoni played for Milan from 1986 to 1996 and 1997 to 1999.
- The Gialloblu have scored 22 times on home soil this season in 13 matches.
- AC Milan have not lost a Serie A match when Ibrahimovic has scored since a 2-1 defeat against Juventus in November 2010.
- Allegri's men have won four of their last five domestic league matches, drawing the other 1-1 against title-challengers Juventus.
- The Rossoneri defeated Parma 4-1 at San Siro back in October with a hat-trick from Antonio Nocerino.
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Top 3 Predictions
Parma 0-3 AC Milan
- 28.67 %
Parma 0-2 AC Milan
- 20.17 %
Parma 1-3 AC Milan
- 13.17 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||27 Oct 2013||Parma 3 - AC Milan 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||15 Feb 2013||AC Milan 2 - Parma 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||29 Sep 2012||Parma 1 - AC Milan 1|
|Serie A (SR-A)||17 Mar 2012||Parma 0 - AC Milan 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||26 Oct 2011||AC Milan 4 - Parma 1|
|3 Dec 2013||Parma 4 - Varese 1||ITAC|
|30 Nov 2013||Parma 1 - Bologna 1||SR-A|
|23 Nov 2013||Napoli 0 - Parma 1||SR-A|
|10 Nov 2013||Parma 1 - Lazio 1||SR-A|
|2 Nov 2013||Parma 0 - Juventus 1||SR-A|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
|8||Gennaro Ivan Gattuso||Midfielder|
AC Milan will have somewhat of a makeshift back line and that could prove to be their weakness. The Frenchman's speed could prove a valuable weapon if he can get in behind the defenders and offer a useful outlet or service to forwards Giovinco and Floccari.
The Italy midfielder has flourished since arriving from Palermo in the summer, striking a healthy nine goals this season by making runs forward and combining well with his team-mates - perhaps his agent was exaggerating when he called his client the 'swoop of the century' but the player will still be hoping to be on the scoresheet again.
Given these are team heading in opposite directions at the moment, with the hosts' form stuttering and the visitors going strong, a Rossoneri win seems the most likely outcome also keeping in mind that Milan have put four past Parma in each of the last two occasions they have faced one another in league play.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed