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Serie A

  • March 8, 2014
  • • 20:00
  • • Stadio Communale Friuli, Udine
  • Referee: C. Russo
  • • Attendance: 20797

Udinese-Milan Preview: Seedorf's men looking to banish Juve memories

Udinese-Milan Preview: Seedorf's men looking to banish Juve memories

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The Rossoneri welcome back Cristian Zapata while Mario Balotelli could be fit to start against the out-of-form Zebrette

AC Milan must turn their attention back to on-field matters this weekend as they travel to Udinese on Saturday in the week that the club has denied being up for sale.

The Serie A giants were reported to be seeking investment via Lazard Ltd - the same company used by city rivals Inter to seal Erick Thohir's takeover last year.

Fininvest, Milan's holding company, dismissed the reports as "unfounded" in an official statement released on Wednesday.

The focus will return to football this weekend when Clarence Seedorf's charges attempt to secure a morale-boosting win at Stadio Friuli ahead of their Champions League clash at Atletico Madrid next Tuesday.

Seedorf's men suffered a 2-0 defeat against Serie A leaders Juventus last Sunday, having dominated the first half at San Siro.

Milan had won their previous two leagues games prior to that setback and they will be eager to get back on track against an out-of-sorts Udinese, who are without a win in five games in all competitions.

Cristian Zapata is available to return after recovering from a hamstring injury that has kept him out since January and the Colombia defender is expecting a stern test against his former club, and in particular experienced forward Antonio Di Natale.

He told Milan's official website: "I feel good and I'm happy to be back fit after the injury. Udinese aren't in good form but it'll be a tough match.

"They'll be waiting for us with real determination to win. We know that we'll have to give everything to get the three points and that's what we'll do when we get to Udine. The Friuli stadium is not an easy one to play in.

"I enjoyed my time with the club and I'd like to thank Udinese for those years. These are matches that Di Natale shines in, he's their reference player and we'll have to be very wary of him."

Milan striker Mario Balotelli could return after being sidelined by a shoulder problem, while midfielder Andrea Poli is hopeful of featuring despite suffering a head injury against Juve.

Udinese will be without suspended defender Danilo, who serves a one-match ban after being shown his fourth yellow card of the season in the 3-0 defeat at Cagliari last Sunday.

Francesco Guidolin masterminded a 2-1 Coppa Italia quarter-final win at San Siro in January and the Udinese coach could do with a repeat performance, with his side having dropped to 15th in the table - just seven points above the relegation zone.

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Reader's Predictions

Udinese Calcio UDI
Udinese Calcio Udinese
AC Milan MIL
AC Milan Milan

Top 3 Predictions

Udinese Calcio UDI
0 - 2
AC Milan MIL
Udinese Calcio UDI
1 - 2
AC Milan MIL
Udinese Calcio UDI
1 - 3
AC Milan MIL