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Serie A

  • 29 January 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: C. Brighi
  • • Attendance: 53000
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Serie A Preview: AC Milan - Cagliari

Serie A Preview: AC Milan - Cagliari

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The visitors have a horrible record at the San Siro over the last several years but will attempt to knock a dent into the Rossoneri's hopes of Scudetto success


PROBABLE LINEUPS

AC MILAN

Abbiati
Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini
Ambrosini, Van Bommel, Nocerino
Seedorf
Ibrahimovic, Robinho
CAGLIARI

Agazzi
Pisano, Canini, Astori, Agostini
Dessena, Conti, Nainggolan
Cossu
Larrivey, Ibarbo

Some good news for AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri will be the return of first-choice goalkeeper Christian Abbiati after the shot-stopper recovered from a calf problem, but several other members of the side remain dogged by injury.

The main concern for Milan remains in midfield with Kevin-Prince Boateng, Mathieu Flamini and Gennaro Gattuso still on the sidelines. Alexander Merkel is suffering a bad sprain to his knee picked up during the 3-1 win over Lazio in the Coppa Italia. Meanwhile, Alberto Aquilani is not expected to be available, along with long-term absentees Antonio Cassano and Mario Yepes.

One of Luca Antonini or Urby Emanuelson could also return to the left-back position despite new signing Djamel Mesbah from Lecce featuring in the victory over Lazio on Thursday. Another winter acquisition, striker Maxi Lopez, is unlikely to play after completing his move from Catania on Friday evening.

On the other hand, Cagliari have just a handful of injuries to deal with. Forward Nene and centre-back Lorenzo Ariaudo are still on differentiated training programs but new arrival Mauricio Pinilla, the striker secured from Palermo, has said that he is ready to make his mark in the match and it will be boss Davide Ballardini's decision whether to insert him into the line-up straight away.


DID YOU KNOW?
  • AC Milan have won seven home matches in a row against Cagliari, last suffering a defeat all the way back in June 1997.
  • Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored 10 goals in his last 12 Serie A matches and is currently joint-top scorer in the league with 14, level with Udinese's Antonio Di Natale.
  • Should Milan win and Juventus fail to do so against Udinese, the Rossoneri would go back on top of the table.
  • Cagliari have so far scored just 16 goals, the second-lowest tally in the league, but have conceded 18, only one more than Milan.
  • Defenders Alessandro Agostini and Michele Canini have played every minute of Serie A so far this campaign.
  • Ballardini's side have won only one of their last six Serie A matches.

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Last Five Matches
AC Milan
18 May 2014AC Milan 2 - Sassuolo 1SR-A
11 May 2014Atalanta 2 - AC Milan 1SR-A
4 May 2014AC Milan 1 - Inter 0SR-A
25 Apr 2014Roma 2 - AC Milan 0SR-A
19 Apr 2014AC Milan 3 - Livorno 0SR-A
Cagliari
18 May 2014Juventus 3 - Cagliari 0SR-A
11 May 2014Cagliari 0 - Chievo 1SR-A
6 May 2014Napoli 3 - Cagliari 0SR-A
27 Apr 2014Cagliari 1 - Parma 0SR-A
19 Apr 2014Genoa 1 - Cagliari 2SR-A
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
32Christian AbbiatiGoalkeeper
5Philippe MexesDefender
13Alessandro NestaDefender
-Djamel MesbahMidfielder
20Ignazio AbateDefender
17Mark van BommelMidfielder
-Antonio NocerinoMidfielder
28Urby EmanuelsonMidfielder
10Zlatan IbrahimovicStriker
7RobinhoStriker
1Marco AmeliaGoalkeeper
19Gianluca Zambrotta Defender
25Daniele BoneraDefender
21Massimo AmbrosiniMidfielder
92Stephan El ShaarawyStriker
-Maxi LópezStriker
-Michael AgazziGoalkeeper
13Davide AstoriDefender
14Francesco PisanoDefender
-Michele CaniniDefender
33Alessandro AgostiniDefender
23Radja NainggolanMidfielder
7Andrea CossuMidfielder
20Albin EkdalMidfielder
21Daniele DessenaMidfielder
23Víctor IbarboStriker
51Mauricio PinillaStriker
25Vlada AvramovGoalkeeper
13Simone GozziDefender
24Gabriele PericoDefender
5Daniele ContiMidfielder
-Joaquin LarriveyStriker
-Moestafa El KabirStriker
-Thiago RibeiroStriker
Players to Watch
Robinho
Robinho
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
23 3 1 0
Having started the Rossoneri's previous two matches, the former Manchester City and Real Madrid forward has been on target in both of them and the Brazilian will be hoping to keep up his scoring streak in order to stay ahead of starlet Stephan El Shaarawy in the strikers' pecking order.
Andrea Cossu
Andrea Cossu
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 7
Games Goals YC RC
29 0 6 0
It was the Italian playmaker who came up with a moment of magic to beat Gianluigi Buffon and earn a point for his team in Turin a fortnight ago and something similar may be needed at San Siro. His set-pieces, passing, and ability to find the speedy Victor Ibarbo on the counter attack will prove key to Cagliari's cause.
Prediction
It is difficult to envision anything other than a victory for the home side. The Rossoneri seem to have had Cagliari's number over recent years and it looks unlikely that the Sardinians will be able to break the strangehold and reproduce a similar performance to the 1-1 draw with Juventus a couple of weeks ago.
Editor's Prediction

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