The last time Milan hosted Parma was all the way back in 2007. However, much has changed since then. Parma had been languishing in Serie B last term but now find themselves a point ahead of Milan and fourth in Serie A after beating Bari 2-0 on Wednesday night. Milan have been getting the results of late, even if not being in the best form, and surrendering a two goal lead in injury time against Napoli only highlighted their frailties. The clash in the San Siro already seems to be a vital clue as to who will gain a coveted Champions League spot. Although not quite title contenders, these teams do show huge potential. Whilst Milan are underachieving at the moment this cannot be said of Parma, whose fans would have happily taken security in the division at the start of the season.
Milan will still be reeling from a night of what could have been in Naples. Two goals in the first five minutes from Inzaghi and Pato made it look like the Rossoneri were home and dry, some may even been expecting a much bigger scoreline, but soon the same old story started to tell. Missed chances, poor defending and lapses of concentration saw Napoli score in stoppage time. A minute later Napoli did the unthinkable and scored again. Two goals in injury time robbed Milan from a vital three points. Despite this, it is hard to see how the line-up will change. The forward line is now scoring goals and Leonardo’s 4-2-3-1 system seems to be paying dividend. Massimo Ambrosini will more than likely keep his place over Mathieu Flamini, but Ignazio Abate’s ban means that Massimo Oddo could regain his place at right-back. There is a feeling in the Milan camp that the tactics are now right and it is just the tinkering of the positions that is left.
44 Oddo – 13 Nesta – 33 Thiago Silva – 15 Zambrotta/p>
21 Pirlo – 23 Ambrosini
7 Pato – 10 Seedorf – 80 Ronaldinho
Parma are flying high – a 2-0 win over their old Serie B partners Bari was last year a top of the table clash. They do, however, have personnel problems, with many of their squad struck by flu. McDonald Mariga, Andrea Pisanu, Jonathan Biabiany, Massimo Paci and Alessio Manzoni are all affected. This leaves a make shift line up that, despite all the odds, performed well on Wednesday getting all three points. The line-up will not change from this as it has no option but to stay the same. Parma have tried to keep to the same XI as much as possible this year but injuries have meant that there squad has been tested to the limits and no more so than now for this trip to Milan.
2 Panucci – 15 Dellafiore – 6 Lucarelli
5 Zaccardo -14 Galloppa – 4 Morrone – 8 Lunardini – 3 Antonelli
43 Paloschi – 86 Bojinov
Milan will have to be at their best this weekend for the visit of Parma. The Gialloblu are indeed punching above their weight at the moment but hold their position on merit. A mixture of good football and steely determination has seen them push into the Champions League spots – a place much coveted by Milan. The Rossoneri are going to have to get everything right in their preparation for this game and learn from recent blunders that have cost them so dearly this season. The fans expect their team to be challenging for the title every season and so far this term they have been off the pace. Yet, slowly but surely they are gathering steam, and bar the last two minutes of the game in Naples, there has been a vast improvement. Unfortunately, the end of the Napoli game does go to show that they are not the finished article and errors like that will be pounced on by an in form Parma.