MX23RW : Monday, June 14 03:20:00| >> :120:28135:28135:
Dec 13, 2020 at 7.45pm UK at San Siro
AC MilanAC Milan
2-2
ParmaParma
Hernandez (58', 90+1')
Hernandez (35'), Calabria (80'), Kalulu (83')
FT(HT: 0-1)
Hernani (13'), Kurtic (56')
Osorio (41'), Iacoponi (65'), Inglese (77')

Preview: AC Milan vs. Parma - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Sunday's Serie A clash between AC Milan and Parma, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

League leaders AC Milan seek to follow up their serene qualification for the knockout rounds of the Europa League in midweek with victory against Parma at San Siro this Sunday.

The Emilians will arrive in Milan following a disappointing draw with Benevento, which sees the teams separated by 16 points in the standings but sharing a similar propensity for progressive football.


Match preview

AC Milan's Samu Castillejo celebrates scoring against Sampdoria in Serie A on December 6, 2020© Reuters

A 1-0 win against Sparta Prague helped Milan to seal top spot in Europa League Group H on Thursday, with victory over the Czech side being the 12th success of the season for Pioli's team in their 16 games played so far.

Since elite football resumed post-lockdown, Pioli has been able to instill an unstinting winning mentality in his team and, in the league, the Rossoneri come into Sunday's game on the back of three straight successes - against Napoli and Sampdoria away and Fiorentina at home.

With Milan still unbeaten in Serie A this season after 10 games played, precedent suggests that an overdue title triumph could be at least distantly on the horizon. In the last three seasons when they have not lost any of their first 11 league matches - 1991-92, 1992-93 and 2003-04 - they won the Scudetto.

To continue that trend, they would merely need to avoid defeat against Parma, but their red-hot form and historical record - they have netted in each of their last 19 matches against the Gialloblu at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, winning fifteen of those encounters - indicates that a win is the most probable outcome.

In the continuing absence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, versatile Croatia forward Ante Rebic has put in a series of hard-running shifts as a 'false nine'. Though the former Eintracht Frankfurt man has been unable to snap out of a season-long scoring slump, he has produced two assists in recent weeks and created space for others to exploit.

The return of speedy Portugal striker Rafael Leao should ease the burden on Rebic this week and threatens to put an end a recent Parma revival.

Gervinho in action for Parma in June 2020© Reuters

Fabio Liverani's outfit are now unbeaten in three games in league and cup - something of an achievement for an inconsistent side - thanks to victories against Genoa and Cosenza in the Coppa Italia and last Sunday's draw against Benevento.

That goalless home result against a promoted team served to illustrate the obvious difficulties Parma have experienced in finding the way to goal this term - despite a forward-thinking outlook. With only 10 goals scored, they share with Udinese the third-worst performing attack in Serie A - only Crotone and Genoa have netted fewer.

Well-travelled forward Gervinho has scored four times - through two braces - but the Gialloblu's other forwards have been largely missing in action when it comes to converting chances into goals. Against Benevento, they failed to muster a single attempt on target.

Due to this penalty area diffidence, Parma have only won one of their last seven Serie A fixtures, drawing four.

Sitting in 16th, but still within touching distance of the top half of the table, the campaign could yet go either way for Liverani's team - though upcoming matches with Cagliari and Crotone are more likely to determine their future rather than Sunday's game or the pre-Christmas visit of Juventus.

They have conceded at least once in each of their last 14 league games against Milan and will do extraordinarily well to avoid becoming just another statistic in a stirring Rossoneri revival this weekend.

AC Milan Serie A form: DWDWWW
AC Milan form (all competitions): WDWWWW

Parma Serie A form: DDDLWD
Parma form (all competitions): DDLWWD


Team News

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli pictured on November 8, 2020© Reuters

Milan's inspirational striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made progress in his return to fitness after a thigh injury but is highly unlikely to start, so Rafael Leao - who returned in the Europa League on Thursday - will contend for a spot in the Rossoneri XI.

Veteran defender Simon Kjaer is also sidelined by a thigh strain, but midfield lynchpin Ismael Bennacer could be back from a muscle injury in time to at least make the bench. The increasingly convincing performances of Azzurri starlet Sandro Tonali mean that Bennacer will not necessarily be rushed back to take his place in Stefano Pioli's 4-2-3-1 formation.

Parma's Wylan Cyprien (thigh), Giuseppe Pezzella (also thigh) and Valentin Mihaila (groin) returned to training late in the week and have an outside shot at returning to the squad for Sunday.

Chief creative force Juraj Kucka was ruled out shortly before last week's draw with Benevento because of a minor leg injury and he remains doubtful this week.

In Liverani's 4-3-2-1 setup, Andreas Cornelius is favoured to start over fellow goal-shy forward Roberto Inglese, supported by the speed and unpredictability of Yann Karamoh and Gervinho.

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Donnaruma; Calabria, Gabbia, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Diaz, Calhanoglu; Rebic

Parma possible starting lineup:
Sepe; Iacoponi, Alves, Osorio, Gagliolo; Hernani, Scozzarella, Kurtic; Karamoh, Gervinho; Cornelius


SM words green background

We say: AC Milan 1-0 Parma

Milan have started the campaign at record-breaking pace and are yet to experience defeat in domestic competition, thanks to a winning combination of youthful exuberance, grit and flair.

Sunday's opponents Parma should be no walkover - having significantly improved their defensive record of late - but are far short of the firepower needed to end the Rossoneri's canter towards being crowned Serie A 'winter champions'.


Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting a home win in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Home Win:curl


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Gervinho in action for Parma in June 2020
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Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CInter Milan38287389355491
2AC Milan38247774413379
3Atalanta BCAtalanta38239690474378
4Juventus38239677383978
5Napoli38245986414577
6Lazio38215126155668
7Roma381881268581062
8SassuoloSassuolo381711106456862
9Sampdoria38157165254-252
10Hellas VeronaHellas Verona381112154648-245
11Genoa381012164758-1142
12Bologna381011175165-1441
13Fiorentina38913164759-1240
14Udinese381010184258-1640
15SpeziaSpezia38912175272-2039
16CagliariCagliari38910194359-1637
17Torino38716155069-1937
RBeneventoBenevento38712194075-3533
RCrotone3865274592-4723
RParma38311243983-4420

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