AC Milan-Fiorentina Preview: Rossoneri seek just third win in 10 matches
Massimiliano Allegri's side will be desperate for three points to reignite their push for the top three against a Viola outfit still reeling from a 2-1 loss to Napoli
By James Willoughby
Massimiliano Allegri's men have slipped to 10th in the Serie A table having won just two of their last nine matches in all competitions.
Milan's slow start means qualification for the Champions League appears unlikely, with the San Siro outfit needing to dramatically improve if they are to challenge for a top-three finish.
No side in the top 10 have leaked more than the 17 conceded by Milan, who have also been unable to find a regular source of goals in the absence of Stephan El Shaarawy (foot) and Giampaolo Pazzini (knee).
Lazio held Milan to a 1-1 draw on Wednesday, with French defender Mickael Ciani scoring a 72nd-minute equaliser at San Siro after Kaka had handed the hosts the lead.
Despite the result, Allegri expressed satisfaction at his team's display and wants to see more of the same against Fiorentina.
"We have to keep working and putting in this sort of performance," he told Sky Sport Italia.
"The side played well in terms of technique and defending, but we lost our unity a little after the equaliser and allowed a couple of dangerous counter-attacks.
"After going 1-0 up we didn't take some more chances, but then with this goal we were caught out after a corner and got punished."
Milan have lost their last two home matches against Fiorentina and will once again be without Philippe Mexes, who serves the last instalment of a four-match suspension.
Fellow defenders Daniele Bonera and Matias Silvestre are also absent, but goalkeeper Christian Abbiati could return from a calf injury.
Fiorentina enter the fixture in sixth place following a 2-1 home defeat to Rafael Benitez's Napoli on Wednesday.
That was the club's first defeat in seven matches, ending a run of form that included a come-from-behind 4-2 victory over reigning champions Juventus.
Fiorentina have lost just one of their seven competitive away games this term and boast the league's top scorer in Giuseppe Rossi.
The former Villarreal striker has made a superb return from a serious knee injury and already has nine goals to his name.
Argentinian defender Gonzalo Rodriguez will return from suspension for Fiorentina, while Mario Gomez and Massimo Ambrosini are doubts after they missed the Napoli defeat.
Juan Cuadrado received two yellow cards for simulation against Napoli, although Fiorentina have appealed his resulting one-game ban.
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Top 3 Predictions
AC Milan 2-1 Fiorentina
- 21.7 %
AC Milan 2-0 Fiorentina
- 14.12 %
AC Milan 1-2 Fiorentina
- 11.11 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 2, 2013||AC Milan 0 - Fiorentina 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 7, 2013||Fiorentina 2 - AC Milan 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 11, 2012||AC Milan 1 - Fiorentina 3|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Apr 7, 2012||AC Milan 1 - Fiorentina 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 19, 2011||Fiorentina 0 - AC Milan 0|
|Mar 8, 2014||Udinese 1 - AC Milan 0||ITA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Feb 23, 2014||Sampdoria 0 - AC Milan 2||ITA1|
|Feb 19, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Atletico Madrid 1||UCL|
|Feb 14, 2014||AC Milan 1 - Bologna 0||ITA1|
|34||Nigel De Jong||Midfielder|