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Serie A

  • March 8, 2014
  • • 12:00 PM
  • • Dacia Arena, Udine
  • Referee: C. Russo
  • • Attendance: 20797

Serie A Preview: Udinese - Milan

Serie A Preview: Udinese - Milan

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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 its attention back to on-field matters this weekend as it travels 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 rival Inter to seal Erick Thohir's takeover last year. Fininvest, Milan's holding company, dismissed the reports as "unfounded" in an official statement released Wednesday.

The focus will return to soccer 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 on Tuesday. Seedorf's men suffered a 2-0 defeat against Serie A leaders Juventus on Sunday, having dominated the first half at San Siro.

Milan had won their previous two leagues games prior to that setback and will be eager to get back on track against an out-of-sorts Udinese, which is 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 on Sunday.

Francesco Guidolin masterminded a 2-1 Coppa Italia quarterfinal 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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Udinese Calcio UDI
Udinese Calcio Udinese
AC Milan MIL
AC Milan Milan

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Udinese Calcio UDI
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AC Milan MIL
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