Pescara-AC Milan Preview: Rossoneri can strengthen grip on final Champions League spot
Massimiliano Allegri's men know a victory against the relegated hosts can bring them a step closer to securing third place in Serie A
By Craig Turnbull
AC Milan's grip on the last remaining Champions League spot became a little more vice-like following their victory over Torino and fourth-placed Fiorentina's slip-up to Roma, and the Rossoneri will be desperate to take three points against Serie B-bound basement boys Pescara ahead of Sunday's decisive clash against the Giallorossi.
However, on Wednesday they will have to do without the services of the suspended Kevin-Prince Boateng, while other midfielders Riccardo Montolivo and Massimo Ambrosini will face late fitness tests to decide their availability.
Midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong remains sidelined, as is forward Bojan.
Meanwhile, Christian Bucchi's side are without a number of regulars with goalkeeper Ivan Pelizzoli, midfielders Gaetano D'Agostino, Francesco Modesto, Juan Quintero and forward Gianluca Capriari all missing for the hosts, although defender Per Kroldrup could return from injury.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Pescara's hopes of staying in Serie A next season were dashed on Sunday when they were beaten 4-1 by Genoa.
- The Delfini have gone 16 games without a victory and have only won once in 2013 when they beat Fiorentina 2-0 back in January.
- The hosts have lost 10 of their last 11 games against Milan.
- Milan are four points better off than fourth-placed Fiorentina with only three matches remaining. The Viola face Pescara on the last day of the season.
- Rossoneri forward Mario Balotelli (pictured, right) has notched nine league goals in 10 games since returning to Serie A in January.
- You have to go as far back as 1979 for the first and only time Milan have lost to Pescara.
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Top 3 Predictions
Pescara 0-3 AC Milan
- 24.66 %
Pescara 0-2 AC Milan
- 17.99 %
Pescara 1-3 AC Milan
- 9.33 %
|Serie A (SR-A)||8 May 2013||Pescara 0 - AC Milan 4|
|Serie A (SR-A)||16 Dec 2012||AC Milan 4 - Pescara 1|
|8 Mar 2014||Pescara 2 - Cesena 0||ITA2|
|1 Mar 2014||Avellino 1 - Pescara 1||ITA2|
|22 Feb 2014||Bari 1 - Pescara 0||ITA2|
|15 Feb 2014||Pescara 1 - Varese 2||ITA2|
|8 Feb 2014||Crotone 3 - Pescara 0||ITA2|
|14||Eugenio Romolo Togni||Midfielder|
|-||Federico Di Francesco||Midfielder|
|-||Per Billeskov Kroldrup||Defender|
|-||Nicolás Bianchi Arce||Defender|
|2||Mattia De Sciglio||Defender|
|92||Stephan El Shaarawy||Striker|
The young goalkeeper was taken out of the line of fire earlier on in the season having seen his confidence take a nosedive, but there is no doubt he will be in midst of the action on Wednesday. And if he can put in a morale-boosting performance in the opening stages, it may just help their chances of avoiding another heavy defeat.
The focal point of Milan's attack having taken the burden off Stephan El Shaarawy's young shoulders, the 22-year-old has helped continue the Rossoneri's rejuvenated season with nine goals in his last 10 games - including the winner against Torino - and he will be sure to add to his tally against Pescara.
The hosts have been condemned to Serie B football next year and the disappointment is not going to end when Milan come to town. They've not won in 16 games and although they will be playing for pride, it will be unsurprising to see them lose again on Wednesday.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed