Milan travel to Turin with an injury plagued side, on what should be Kaka’s debut, part two. With the game coming directly after the international break, there has not been much time for either side to prepare, but with plenty of attacking quality on display, goals should not be hard to come by.
The Granata have somewhat struggled in previous years against Milan, failing to beat their opponents in their last eleven games, dating back twelve years ago to November 2001. Ventura will certainly be wanting his side to break this curse, despite knowing full well, the difficulty of the task ahead. The coach has some difficult decisions to make, regarding his starting lineup, albeit mainly in midfield and defence. Talented youngsters Bellomo and El Kaddouri are likely to start from the bench, with Darmian and Bovo likely to be favoured over Polish centre half Kamil Glik, and Uruguayan defender Guillermo Rodriguez.
As for Milan, a long list of injuries including no less than eight players, has given manager Max Allegri little choice in picking his lineup, with world cup winner, Cristian Zaccardo likely to make his first full debut in Serie A, for Milan with Abate and De Sciglio out injured. Robinho is also likely to be given the nod over Matri, having already scored last time out against Cagliari. If things aren’t going to plan however, Allegri will be looking to rotate his attack, in hope of giving Il Toro’s defenders a headache. All the attention has been on ‘new signing’ Kaka who is almost certain to start with El Shaarawy and Niang missing, but not too much should be expected from the Brazilian who is lacking in match fitness.
This game last season, provided fans with a six goal thriller, with Milan running out as 4-2 winners, and with the quality of offensive players at both managers disposal, an exciting game should be expected, with both defences being kept busy throughout.
Torino Probable Lineup – Manager: Giampiero Ventura
GK – Padelli, CB – Darmian, CB – Bovo, CB – Moretti, RWB – D’Ambrosio, LWB – Pasquale, CM – Brighi, CM – Vives, CM – Farnerud, ST – Cerci, ST – Immobile
Battles: Bovo 60% – Rodriguez 40%, Darmian 70% – Glik 30%, Farnerud 60% – Basha 40%
AC Milan Probable Lineup – Manager: Max Allegri
GK – Abbiati, RB – Zaccardo, CB – Mexes, CB – Zapata, LB – Emanuelson, CM – Montolivo, CM – De Jong, CM – Muntari, AM – Kaka, ST – Robinho, ST – Balotelli
Battles: Emanuelson 80% – Constant 20%, Muntari 60% – Poli 40%, Robinho 55% – Matri 45%
SATURDAY 14 SEPTEMBER 2013 – 19:45 – BT SPORT 1