Renzo Barbera, Italy
October 30th 2012, 19:45 GMT
With only 1 victory in 9 matches so far, Palermo’s season isn’t exactly going according to plan. When Zamparini hired Gasperini, he did not foresee such a start and given his tendency to change coaches faster than he changes dresses, Gasperini might be walking on thin ice. Even in the previous match against Siena, Palermo barely managed a draw, after all the loud-mouthing in public from Cosmi and Gasperini.
Milan recorded a victory after a really long time to recover from their worst start in over 70 years. Although Allegri might shout about the fact that the victory was a “response to critics“, fact be told he was lucky to come away with a win. Other than El Shaarawy, no one in the Milan shirt appeared half as interested in claiming a victory, that too with Boateng not on the field! Nonetheless, the victory did get Milan out of the relegation zone and Allegri should look to build on this win.
Team News and Tactical Brief
Palermo will be missing the likes of Milanovic and Hernandez for this match. With only one victory coming at home, that too against Chievo, Gasperini will be looking to go all out in order to claim a point or three. After Sannino was sacked with only three matches under his belt, Zamparini brought in Gasperini to stable the ship. His first order of business was to go back to his favored 3-man defence formation which he used during his ill-fated time with Inter.
Palermo will be using a 3-4-2-1 formation for this match with Ujkani under the bars. Palermo have used this formation on five occasions this season, with only one loss coming their way. The back-line sees the trio of Munoz, Donati and Von Bergen from right to left. Munoz and Von Bergen have started every match on the right and left of defence, although Donati was sometimes used in the midfield area. Palermo’s gameplay relies more on creating scoring chances through individual skills rather than on a collective effort and that has been one of the reasons for their form so far. Palermo also like to attack through the middle and their motto seems to be lobbing the ball to the striker at any and every opportunity. They lack the ability to hold on to possession, something which Milan might exploit in the upcoming match.
The four-man midfield sees Barreto and Kurtic playing at the heart of midfield with Morganella on the right and Mantovani on the left. Liverpool target Ilicic and Brienza form part of the attacking trident with Miccoli on top. Ilicic hasn’t found top form this season but Gasperini will be hoping with crossed fingers that he comes to the fore in this match against Milan.
Probable Starting Line-up (3-4-2-1): Ujkani (GK); Munoz, Donati, Von Bergen; Morganella, Barreto, Kurtic, Mantovani; Ilicic, Brienza; Miccoli
Milan will be missing the likes of Mesbah, Robinho, De Sciglio, Strasser, Muntari, Didac Vila, Boateng and possibly even Antonini for this match. Abbiati has returned to the first team and against Genoa, he was in the substitute’s bench. Muntari is also back on the training ground and recently starred in a Primavera match against Modena. Abbiati and Pato are expected to start this match for Milan, however question remains about their form. Antonini sufferred a bad gash on the left thigh and his situation is unclear as of now. Milan Milan Milan
After trying out numerous formations, Allegri seems to have found one which can actually work, or so it seems. The 3-4-3 was first seen in the away defeat to Malaga and against Genoa, Allegri decided to continue the trend. With one goal scored and one conceded in two matches using the 3-4-3, Allegri is unlikely to change his formation against Palermo. The top three, however usually becomes a 2-1 with Pato playing as the lone striker. The emphasis on keeping possession is paramount for Allegri as he desperately tries to save his job at Milan.
Abbiati should start this match under the bar, pushing Amelia to the substitute bench. Bonera will start at the heart of defence with Zapata on the right and Yepes on the left. Injury to De Sciglio came at a bad juncture and his presence will be missed not only in defence but also in the build-up play. Pushing Abate up the field allows him to play more as a wing-back rather than a proper right midfielder, although he can play in that position too. Constant came in for Antonini in the previous match and he is likely to feature on the left in this match too.
The duo of De Jong and Montolivo will complete the Milan midfield. Although De Jong is more of a defensive midfielder, in recent games it has been observed that Montolivo drops deeper than him and usually stays there. This creates a void in the midfield and one which De Jong has been unable to fill. Emanuelson will start on the right of the final attacking trio with El Shaarawy on the left. In the previous match, it was seen on numerous occasion that even when Milan did create a legitimate scoring chance, there was no one at the end of the cross or pass. After three chances, El Shaarawy finally scored. Pato is likely to start this match, although if one thinks logically, Pazzini should be given a full match. Milan Milan Milan
Probable Starting Line-up (3-4-2-1): Abbiati (GK); Zapata, Bonera, Yepes; Abate, De Jong, Montolivo, Constant; Emanuelson, El Shaarawy; Pato
Player to Watch Out For
Stephan El Shaarawy (AC Milan)
In the absence of pretty much anyone on the striker front, El Shaarawy has quietly and calmly staked his claim for a starting spot in the present team – that too, a permanent one. The young Pharaoh has matured pretty fast during the last couple of seasons, and at times carries the entire team. In the last match against Genoa, it looked as if he wanted to be everywhere – attack as well as defence. His infectious attitude sadly did not rub off on his team-mates. Scoring a goal on his birthday is no mean feat but the fact that he did not celebrate the goal out of respect for his former club shows just how much the young Italian has matured in such a short span of time.
Palermo 1-1 AC Milan
With Palermo lying in the relegation zone, a victory will be very much desired at the Barbera. However, Milan have just climbed out from the drop zone and hopefully with any luck will get back in the top 10 soon. Milan will want to carry their new-found ‘form’ in this match. After 6 long years, Milan finally broke the Barbera voodoo last season but from the looks of it, if Milan escape from Barbera with anything more than or equal to a draw, it will be a huge boost for them.