Fiorentina-AC Milan Preview: Can Allegri's men make it five straight wins?
The Rossoneri hold a commanding six-point lead over Vincenzo Montella's side and could cement third spot with another win on Sunday
By Alec Fenn
Tomovic, Savic, Compper, Pasqual
Aquilani, Pizarro, Valero
Ljajic, Toni, Cuadrado
Abate, Mexes, Zapata, De Sciglio
Flamini, Montolivo, Muntari
Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy
It seemed unthinkable prior to Christmas, but victory over Fiorentina on Sunday will effectively see AC Milan book their place in next season's Champions League and tighten their increasingly-firm grip on third spot.
The Rossoneri have won their last four Serie A games and kept clean sheets in all of those encounters, a run of form which sees them six points ahead of fourth-placed Viola and two adrift of Napoli in second spot.
Nigel de Jong is the only unavailable player in Massimiliano Allegri's first-team squad as he continues his recovery from a long term Achilles injury.
The home side have greater cause for concern, however, with Matias Fernandez, Ahmed Hegazy, Giuseppe Rossi, Michele Camporese and star man Stevan Jovetic all injured, while Gonzalo Rodriguez misses out through suspension.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- AC Milan's attacking trio of Stephan El Shaarawy, Mario Balotelli and Kevin-Prince Boateng are all one booking away from suspension.
- The Rossoneri will move nine points clear of Fiorentina if they win on Sunday.
- Giampaolo Pazzini (right), Milan's second top goalscorer with 13 strikes to his name, should return to the first-team squad for the trip to Florence.
- Massimiliano Allegri's side have led at half-time and full-time in each of their last four Serie A games.
- Fiorentina will have to do without main man Stevan Jovetic on Sunday through injury - the forward has found the back of the net 12 times this season.
- The Viola have scored at least two goals in nine of their last 11 Serie A games.
- Vincenzo Montella's side have won their last four home games.
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Top 3 Predictions
Fiorentina 0-2 AC Milan
- 26.89 %
Fiorentina 1-2 AC Milan
- 17.8 %
Fiorentina 1-3 AC Milan
- 12.67 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||2 Nov 2013||AC Milan 0 - Fiorentina 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||7 Apr 2013||Fiorentina 2 - AC Milan 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||11 Nov 2012||AC Milan 1 - Fiorentina 3|
|Serie A (SR-A)||7 Apr 2012||AC Milan 1 - Fiorentina 2|
|Serie A (SR-A)||19 Nov 2011||Fiorentina 0 - AC Milan 0|
|13 Mar 2014||Juventus 1 - Fiorentina 1||EL|
|9 Mar 2014||Juventus 1 - Fiorentina 0||SR-A|
|2 Mar 2014||Fiorentina 0 - Lazio 1||SR-A|
|27 Feb 2014||Fiorentina 1 - Esbjerg 1||EL|
|24 Feb 2014||Parma 2 - Fiorentina 2||SR-A|
|-||Mohamed Lamine Sissoko||Midfielder|
|2||Mattia De Sciglio||Defender|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
With Stevan Jovetic absent through injury, the goalscoring burden will be even greater on the veteran striker. With seven goals to his name this season, Toni will hope to add to that tally on Sunday.
Milan's recent run of form has supported the theory that all good sides are built on the foundations of a solid back four. The Rossoneri have kept four consecutive clean sheets and the centre-back will be key if his side are to make it five.
A win for AC Milan will all but seal third place, and with four wins from their last four games the Rossoneri will head into the game high on confidence and determined to come away with a win that could complete a remarkable turnaround from their early-season struggles.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed