AC Milan-Parma Preview: In-form Rossoneri can leap-frog city rivals Inter
Unbeaten in the league in 2013, the hosts are eyeing a share of third place in Serie A as they build towards next week’s showdown with Barcelona in the Champions League
By Jerrad Peters
Zaccardo, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio
Flamini, Nocerino, Montolivo
Niang, Balotelli, El Shaarawy
Benalouane, Paletta, Lucarelli
Biabiany, Mariga, Valdes, Parolo, Gobbi
Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo returns to the Milan squad after serving a one-match ban on Sunday against Cagliari, but striker Giampaolo Pazzini has still been struggling with a muscle strain and will likely start on the bench, which means Mario Balotelli will once again play from the beginning.
Left-back Kevin Constant is also unlikely to feature due to an ankle problem suffered in training ahead of last weekend’s match against Cagliari, and defender Daniele Bonera is also set to miss out with a niggling muscle problem.
Parma welcome defender Aleandro Rosi and midfielder Marco Marchionni back from suspension but will be without goalkeeper Antonio Mirante, who is expected to be out two more weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery earlier this month.
Midfielder Daniele Galloppa remains the Gialloblu’s most serious injury worry. The 27-year-old suffered a cruciate ligament injury to his left knee in an October match against Sampdoria, and as of yet there is no timetable for his return.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Right-back Christian Zaccardo, acquired in the January transfer window as part of a swap deal with Parma involving Djamel Mesbah, could make his Milan debut against his former club on Friday.
- Once struggling to get out of the bottom third of the table, Milan have yet to lose a Serie A match this calendar year and have climbed all the way to fifth in the standings. They can leap-frog Inter with a win on Friday - a result that would also see them pull level with third-place Lazio.
- Parma have won just a single match in 2013 and have scored only three goals in their last five matches.
- Parma held Milan to a 1-1 draw when these sides last met in September. Prior to that, however, the Rossoneri had beaten the Gialloblu four times in succession, by a combined score of 11-1.
- Since joining Milan from Manchester City last month Mario Balotelli has scored three goals in two matches.
- Parma have the worst offensive record in Serie A’s top 12 and their highest goal-scorer, Ishak Belfodil, has bagged just seven goals this season.
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Top 3 Predictions
AC Milan 2-0 Parma
- 24 %
AC Milan 3-0 Parma
- 17.79 %
AC Milan 3-1 Parma
- 14.42 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 27, 2013||Parma 3 - AC Milan 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 15, 2013||AC Milan 2 - Parma 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Sep 29, 2012||Parma 1 - AC Milan 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 17, 2012||Parma 0 - AC Milan 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Oct 26, 2011||AC Milan 4 - Parma 1|
|Dec 11, 2013||AC Milan 0 - Ajax 0||UCL|
|Dec 7, 2013||Livorno 2 - AC Milan 2||ITA1|
|Dec 1, 2013||Catania 1 - AC Milan 3||ITA1|
|Nov 26, 2013||Celtic 0 - AC Milan 3||UCL|
|Nov 23, 2013||AC Milan 1 - Genoa 1||ITA1|
|2||Mattia De Sciglio||Defender|
|-||Daniele De Angelis||Goalkeeper|
He is cup-tied in the Champions League, so he’ll almost certainly play the full 90 on Friday. After scoring only one Premier League goal in 14 appearances before joining Milan in January the 22-year-old has already bagged three Serie A goals in just two matches. Don’t bet against him extending that streak against Parma on Friday.
The 21-year-old Algerian-born striker has played all his underage football for France and is likely to declare for them before too long. He spent the last half of last season on loan at Bologna from Ligue 1 side Lyon and failed to find the back of the net, but he has seven goals in 19 matches so far this season and also leads Parma with three assists.
Milan will be desperate to bounce back from last weekend’s draw at Cagliari and rise into the Champions League positions for the first time this season. Parma, meanwhile, struggle to find the back of the net at the best of times. The hosts shouldn’t have much problem here.