TEAM NEWS: Pato returns for AC Milan's crunch clash with Juventus

The Brazil international has been out of action since suffering a thigh injury in last month's Coppa Italia clash with Novara but will start up front alongside Robinho
AC Milan have been buoyed by the return of Alexandre Pato for Saturday night's Serie A showdown with Juventus at San Siro.

The 22-year-old striker has been out of action since suffering a thigh injury in last month’s Coppa Italia win over Novara but he returns up front to form an all-Brazilian frontline with Robinho.

Maxi Lopez misses out through injury, while Zlatan Ibrahimovic is also unavailable after the Rossoneri failed in their bid to have the final game of his three-match suspension quashed.

The top-of-the-table clash has come too soon for Kevin-Prince Boateng, so Urby Emanuelson will continue in the role of trequartista in front of a three-man midfield consisting of Antonio Nocerino, Mark van Bommel and Sulley Muntari.

Philippe Mexes slots back into the heart of the Milan defence alongside Thiago Silva in place of Daniele Bonera, while Luca Antonini has got the nod ahead of Djamel Mesbah at left-back.

As for Juventus, Marco Borriello will partner Fabio Quagliarella in attack, with top-scorer Alessandro Matri and Mirko Vucinic both having to make do with a seat on the bench.

Elsewhere, Marcelo Estigarribia takes over from Emanuele Giaccherini on the left-hand side of midfield and there are also recalls for Stephen Lichtsteiner and Arturo Vidal as the Bianconeri revert to 3-5-2.

However, all eyes will of course be on Andrea Pirlo, who has, as expected, been again entrusted with the playmaking duties at the base of the Juventus midfield in his first league outing against Milan at San Siro since moving to Turin last summer.

AC Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Thiago Silva, Antonini; Nocerino, Van Bommel, Muntari; Emanuelson; Pato, Robinho.

Amelia, Inzaghi, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Bonera, Yepes, El Shaarawy.

Juventus (3-5-2): Buffon; Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Estigarribia; Borriello, Quagliarella.

Subs: Storari, Caceres, Pepe, Del Piero, Vucinic, Giaccherini, Matri.

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