San Siro, Milan
21st Nov 2010 – 1:15 AM IST
Il Diavolo looks to continue their lead at the top of Seria A when they meet Fiorentina this Sunday. The Rossoneros are currently on cloud nine, having convincingly won the Derby Della Madonnina with a scoreline of 1-0, the only goal coming off a penalty kick by Ibrahimovic when the game was only five minutes old.
Fiorentina is coming off a 1-0 victory over Cessena last weekend. Viola midfielder Mario Alberto Santana is warning the Rossoneri to be on guard this weekend when the two sides meet. Santana believes his team-mates will be doing their utmost to claim maximum points at the San Siro, and will not settle for a draw.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Milan currently enjoys a wafer thin lead at the top of the table over second placed Lazio, who are on the road this weekend against Parma. They go into this match with an eye on the mid-week Champions League fixture against Auxerre at Stade Abbe-Deschamps. The recent spate of injuries hasn’t helped Milan and the latest addition to that injury roster is none other than Alexandre Pato, who’s out for six weeks. The forward line looks pretty thin with Pippo also on the sidelines and the impetus of scoring falls squarely on Zlatan and Robinho. This week, Ibrahimovic has pledged his ultimate loyalty to the club by claiming that he will end his career at the club and Ronaldinho has quashed rumours of his impending move. “Our self-esteem is already very high”, coach Massimiliano Allegri said, “but the (win in the) derby will give us a further boost at the moral level”.
The regular 4-3-1-2 should be the formation adopted by Allegri with Ibrahimovic and Robinho upfront. Pirlo is anticipated to start the game along with Flamini, Seedorf and Boateng. Antonini, Thiago Silva, Nesta and Zambrotta should form the back-line with Abbiati manning the posts. Allegri may be persuaded to include Ronaldinho in the starting line-up along with Robinho after their exciting pairing in the friendly against Argentina and also taking into account Ronni’e performance.
The leading scorer for Fiorentina this season has been a former Milanista, Alberto Gilardino. All eyes will be on him as he looks to score against his former club. Goalkeeper Sebastien Frey is ruled out for upto six months with a knee injury and his place in the starting line-up will go to summer signing Artur Boruc. The injury is yet another massive blow to the club, who are already without other sidelined stars in Riccardo Montolivo, Cristiano Zanetti and Stefan Jovetic. Whether Kroldrup will feature in the staring 11 will be assessed after his return from the international friendly.
Fiorentina are likely to go start with a 4-5-1 formation with Manuel Pasqual, Per Kroldrup, Alessandro Gamberini and Lorenzo De Silvestri manning the defense, Juan Vargas, Adam Ljajic, Marco Manchionni, Riccardo Montolivo and Gaetano D’Agostino in the midfield with Gilardino playing the lone striker role upfront.
Probable Starting Eleven: Boruc(GK), Pasqual, Kroldrup, Gamberini, Silvestri, Vargas, Ljajic, Manchionni, Montolivo, D’Agostino, Gilardino. – –
TheHardTackle’s PLAYER TO WATCH OUT FOR
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (AC Milan)
The Swede has been in fine form off late. After the winner against his former club, he is on a high right now. So, undoubtedly, all eyes will be on him to continue his goal-scoring form and it can be said that the Viola defense will have a tough time containing him.
AC Milan 2-0 Fiorentina
TheHardTackle’s BLAST FROM THE PAST
– Amlan Choudhury