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Serie A

  • April 28, 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: D. Massa
  • • Attendance: 36335
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AC Milan - Catania Preview: 'Super Mario' returns for stuttering Rossoneri

AC Milan - Catania Preview: 'Super Mario' returns for stuttering Rossoneri

AFP

Massimiliano Allegri welcomes back Balotelli as the hosts look to get their Champions League push back on track with victory over their Sicilian visitors



Mario Balotelli will make his return to the Milan starting line-up this weekend with the San Siro side looking to get back to winning ways against Europa League-chasing Catania.

The former Manchester City star is available after a two-game suspension and is likely to be thrust straight back into the action as the Rossoneri look to kick-start their pursuit of Champions League football next season after a run of three games without a win.

Kevin-Prince Boateng and Matthieu Flamini are available once more after both missed the trip to face Juventus last weekend through injury and suspension respectively.

However, the home side will be without the services of club captain Massimo Ambrosini after he was forced off the field at Juventus Stadium with ankle ligament damage.

Daniele Bonera is expected to take the place of the suspended Cristian Zapata to partner Philippe Mexes at centre-back.

Catania, meanwhile, are forced into a defensive reshuffle after last weekend’s ill-tempered Sicilian derby.

Goalkeeper Mariano Andujar is suspended after his sending off in the final minute of the 1-1 draw with Palermo, while defenders Giuseppe Bellusci and Nicolas Spolli are missing after both picked up yellow cards that triggered bans in the tie.

Coach Rolando Maran is sweating over the fitness of his captain Mariano Izco with Lucas Castro ready to step in.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Allegri's side have failed to win any of their last three fixtures in Serie A, their worst run of the campaign since September.
  • Last year's corresponding fixture saw Milan run out comfortable winners, cruising to a 4-0 victory at San Siro.
  • Stephan El Shaarawy (pictured, right) scored twice as the Rossoneri saw off Serie D outfit Folgore Caratese 9-2 in a training-ground friendly this week.
  • Catania haven't beaten Milan in the league since they regained promotion to Serie A in 2006.
  • Gli Elifante are in a position to challenge for the best finish in their history. Their current highest finish to date is 8th place.
  • The Sicilian derby last weekend at Catania's Stadio Angelo Massimino ended with a 22-man scuffle on the pitch after Josip Ilicic's dramatic equaliser for Palermo saw tensions boil over.

Players to watch

M. Balotelli

Position: Attacker

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The eccentric frontman returns to the fray having served his suspension and will be eager to get on the scoresheet and see Milan back to winning ways following three Serie A clashes without a win.

A. Gómez

Position: Midfielder

Games: 0

  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
The light-footed forward's tendency to drift in from the left has caused problems for opposing teams all season – a well-established attacking bond with fellow Argentine Gonzalo Bergessio will undoubtedly see Gomez amongst Milan's main threats on Sunday.

Editor's Prediction

The visiting Sicilians have won only one single match in their last five attempts and have mustered only two goals in their last four. Add to that a dismal away record in the Italian top flight this term and it's difficult to see past a Rossoneri win – especially with talismanic striker Mario Balotelli returning to action.

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Milan

Catania

Wins
4
1
0
Wins

Betting & Predictions

Reader's Predictions

AC Milan MIL
AC Milan Milan
Draw
Calcio Catania CAT
Calcio Catania Catania
88%

Top 3 Predictions

AC Milan MIL
3 - 0
Calcio Catania CAT
AC Milan MIL
2 - 0
Calcio Catania CAT
AC Milan MIL
3 - 1
Calcio Catania CAT

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