After letting a 1-0 lead slip in the Derby Della Madonnina, the Rossoneri now have a chance to regroup as they play Andrea Stramaccioni’s Udinese at the San Siro this Sunday.
AC Milan – DDLDD
I’m excluding the The Trofeo Berlusconi against San Lorenzo, because that’s just not worth anything. 4 points from available points is a scary run of form for Inzaghi’s men. Inzaghi says he’s not looking at the form of his team, or the Serie A table, but there’s no doubt that people in the Milan boardroom are starting to sweat over current performances. For Milan it’s not even the amount of points they’ve won, it’s how they’ve not gained points from winnable games that frustrated Rossoneri fans.
Udinese – WLLDD
Not great form from Stramaccioni’s, who are also chasing a place in Europe, like Milan. Udinese’s run of form has almost included some results to be embarrassed about, a 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina, a 4-2 defeat to Genoa and dropping points to Chievo at home.
AC Milan (4-3-3): Diego Lopez, Rami, Mexes, Zapata, Armero- Van Ginkel, Essien, Bonaventura – Honda, Menez, El Shaarawy
Substitutes: Abbiati, Agazzi, Albertazzi, Armero, Bonera, Zaccardo, Montolivo, Poli, Saponara, Niang, Pazzini, Torres.
Udinese (4-3-2-1): Karnezis, Piris, Hertaux, Danilo, Domizzi – Badu, Allan, Guilherme – Thereau, Kone – Di Natale
Substitutes: Brkic, Scuffet, Bubnjic, Belmonte, Pasqaule, Hassan, Pinzi, Hallberg, Fernandes, Evangelista, Zapata, Geijo
Key players to watch:
AC Milan –
1. Van Ginkel – Not the player you expected, huh? The on loan Chelsea man hasn’t played due to injuries and selection troubles, but he’s rumoured to be starting for Milan tomorrow. Milan’s midfield has been woeful, without their conductor, Montolivo, the midfield has looked flat and clueless. Hopefully Van Ginkel can help fix that, as the energetic Dutchman impressed at Vitesse last season.
2. Keisuke Honda – I have Honda in my players to watch almost always, the Japanese playmaker looks like the only man who can create something in this Milan time most of the time. He hasn’t been involved in a goal or an assist since 19th October, against Hellas Verona, and the under pressure winger will be sure to end that streak.
3. Adil Rami – Rami put in a heroic display against Inter Milan last weekend, as he played RB for the first time in his career, he was spectacular against Inter Milan’s dangerous attack. Although playing wide, watch Rami motivate the Milan defence as he did last weekend. He’s turning into a Rossoneri favourite.
1. Antonio Di Natale – How could I not mention the game who reached 200 Serie A goals last weekend? He’s been Udinese’s main threat for almost 9 years, and in 2014 he’s still their scariest player. Although he turned 37 in October, he’s currently on 7 goals and 3 assists in 11 Serie A games this season. Inzaghi knows better than to let Di Natale roam in space and will hopefully have a man tightly assigned to the Serie A veteran.
2. Danilo – Udinese will probably spend most of the match on the backfoot, and it’ll be up to their most reliable defender this season, Brazilian Danilo, to contain the Rossoneri attack. The Brazilian has featured in every Serie A game this season, and has been the veteran leader in this Udinese team. He’ll be crucial.
3. Cyril Théréau – The 31 year old Frenchman is Udinese’s second highest scorer this season with four. With Milan’s defenders concentrating on the threat of Di Natale, Théréau will be out of focus and may be able to hurt Milan’s defence under the radar. The most impressive stat regarding Théréau is that he’s averaging a goal every 186 minutes, just over every two games, which means by the law of averages, he’s due a goal against Milan today…
Writer’s prediction: AC Milan 3 – Udinese 2.