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Serie A

  • February 3, 2013
  • • 19:45
  • • Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milano
  • Referee: P. Valeri
  • • Attendance: 35152
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AC Milan-Udinese Preview: Balotelli arrival sparks Rossoneri optimism

AC Milan-Udinese Preview: Balotelli arrival sparks Rossoneri optimism

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Massimiliano Allegri's side at last appear to have put their early season struggles behind them and head into the game on a run of three wins from their last four outings

  PROBABLE LINE-UPS

AC MILAN

Abbiati
Abate, Bonera, Zapata, Constant
Flamini, Montolivo, Boateng
Niang, Pazzini, El Shaarawy
UDINESE

Padelli
Benatia, Danilo, Domizzi, Pasquale
Basta, Pinzi, Allan, Lazzari
Muriel
Di Natale

Regardless of the result on Sunday, in years to come the last seven days will always be remembered for the signing of Mario Balotelli.

The arrival of the former Inter man was a timely and symbolic reminder that AC Milan still have the ambition and allure to attract players of the highest quality to San Siro, at a time when many supporters feared quite the opposite.

Balotelli is likely to start on the bench for the Rossoneri, which means Giampaolo Pazzini will be handed the opportunity to continue his run of three goals in his last three Serie A appearances.

Udinese welcome back Mehdi Benatia from AFCON duty, with the defender set to go straight into the starting XI, while Luis Muriel should partner Antonio Di Natale upfront.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • AC Milan have won six of their last seven league games at San Siro.

  • The Rossoneri splashed out a reported 22 million on Mario Balotelli (right) on Tuesday as they bid to continue their rise up the Serie A table.
  • Massimiliano Allegri's side go into the game sat in fifth spot in the league table and only three points adrift of arch-rivals Inter.
  • Udinese finished third last season but have been inconsistent this term and sit in ninth place ahead of Sunday's trip to San Siro.

  • Antonio Di Natale now has 14 goals for the campaign at the grand age of 35-years-old.
  • The Zebrette were 2-1 winners in the first meeting between the two sides back in September.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
14Marco AmeliaGoalkeeper
17Cristian ZapataDefender
20Ignazio AbateDefender
-Kevin Constant Midfielder
25Daniele BoneraDefender
-Antonio NocerinoMidfielder
20Mathieu FlaminiMidfielder
18Riccardo MontolivoMidfielder
11Giampaolo PazziniStriker
78M'Baye NiangStriker
92Stephan El ShaarawyStriker
45Mario BalotelliStriker
32Christian AbbiatiGoalkeeper
-Lazar PetkovicGoalkeeper
33Mario YepesDefender
3Luca AntoniniDefender
81Cristian ZaccardoDefender
4Sulley MuntariMidfielder
-Bakaye TraoréMidfielder
13Massimo AmbrosiniMidfielder
-RobinhoStriker
-Bojan KrkicStriker
30Daniele PadelliGoalkeeper
5DaniloDefender
-Dušan BastaDefender
11Maurizio DomizziDefender
75Thomas HeurtauxDefender
3AllanMidfielder
21Andrea LazzariMidfielder
34Gabriel SilvaDefender
66Giampiero PinziMidfielder
10Antonio Di NataleStriker
9MurielStriker
-Alessandro FavaroGoalkeeper
22Simone ScuffetGoalkeeper
-Gabriele AngellaDefender
4Mehdi BenatiaDefender
26Giovanni PasqualeDefender
6Marco FaraoniDefender
22M. CamposMidfielder
-Roberto PereyraMidfielder
-Alexander MerkelMidfielder
94Piotr ZielinskiMidfielder
-Mathias RanégieStriker
-MaicosuelMidfielder
Players to Watch
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 45
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
Whether he starts on the bench as expected or slots straight into the starting XI, the controversial striker will be sure to grab all the headlines. His impact in attack could well be just the boost the club needs to push them back amongst Serie A's Champions League-chasing pack.
Muriel
Muriel
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 9
Games Goals YC RC
0 0 0 0
The 21-year-old has four goals in his last five games and has helped take some of the weighty goalscoring burden off the shoulders of Antonio Di Natale. The Colombia striker was handed a five-year-deal back in September, such is the high regard in which he is held at Stadio Friuli.
Prediction
Buoyed by the signing of Mario Balotelli and riding high on the back of six wins in their last seven home games, AC Milan should have enough to run out winners at San Siro on Sunday.
Editor's Prediction
Milan 2

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