Serie A Preview: AC Milan - Cagliari

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



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

Pisano, Canini, Astori, Agostini
Dessena, Conti, Nainggolan
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 has just a handful of injuries to deal with. Forward Nene and center 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.

  • AC Milan has 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 has so far scored just 16 goals, the second-lowest tally in the league, but 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 has won only one of its last six Serie A matches.