After their roller-coaster performance against Dudelange in the Europa League, AC Milan will hope to look a bit more convincing on Sunday, as they take on Parma in the early kick-off game.
Following an impressive display against Lazio, given which players started in defence, it was expected that Gattuso would continue with three men at the back. However, according to the latest reports from Sky Italia, he will switch back to the 4-3-3, having already brought back the four-man backline against Dudelange.
With that said, it also means that the Rossoneri will have to play with three midfielders, which may seem like an odd choice from Gattuso considering the players at his disposal. If you watched the Dudelange game, though, you will know that Jose Mauri really impressed when coming on in the second half, and thus it is believed that he will start tomorrow.
Unfortunately, we won’t be seeing Simic from the first minute, even though he surpassed expectations against Dudelange. Instead, full-back Abate will slot in alongside Zapata, while Calabria will occupy the right-back spot. One could argue that if Mauri, who hasn’t played much more than Simic, gets the chance, then the Czech defender should also be in the running.
In any case, Milan will certainly have to perform better than against Dudelange. Sure, they won by five goals to two in the end, but the leading up to that wasn’t convincing at all. Against Lazio, we saw a completely different team, though this is probably because of yet another formation change. In other words, there has been a lack of consistency as of late, which is understandable given the number of injuries. However, moving forward, Gattuso will have to settle for one formation, in addition to a back-up.
Likely AC Milan XI vs. Parma (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Abate, Zapata, Rodriguez; Kessie, Mauri, Bakayoko; Suso, Cutrone, Calhanoglu.
Shifting focus to the Parma, who are sixth in the league, they will be a hard team to beat. This season, they have already won once at the San Siro, beating Inter by a scoreline of one goal to nil. In fact, Parma have alternated between a win and a defeat in their six away games this season, keeping only one clean sheet (you guessed it, at the San Siro against Inter).
However, if you look at stats, Milan have a clear advantage. The Rossoneri have scored at least two goals in eight of their last nine Serie A games against Parma (an average of 2.8 per game), while winning 13 of their last 16 games against the team in question at San Siro. With that said, knowing Milan, stats almost never matter and it’s certain that they will need to be at their best tomorrow.
After all, against a struggling defence, the likes of Gervinho and Inglese could cause some problems and possibly even get on the scoresheet. Given that Milan conceded two goals against Dudelange, this scenario is not unlikely, though Rossoneri fans will hope that the defence can play as against Lazio.
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