MX23RW : Monday, February 18 09:06:12
Apr 4, 2015 at 2pm UK at ​Stadio Renzo Barbera
Palermo
1-2
AC Milan
Dybala (72' pen.)
FT(HT: 0-1)
Cerci (37'), Menez (83')

Preview: Palermo vs. AC Milan

Sports Mole looks ahead to the Serie A meeting between Palermo and AC Milan in Sicily.

At the beginning of the season AC Milan and Palermo would have had very different expectations of what they wanted to achieve.

However, with just 10 games left to play only three points separate them in the Serie A table as a mid-table finish beckons for each club.



Palermo

Giuseppe Iachini head coach of Palermo gestures during the Serie A match between US Citta di Palermo and SS Lazio at Stadio Renzo Barbera on September 29, 2014© Getty Images

While Milan started the season with aspirations of qualifying for Europe, it was a very different story for a Palermo side marking their return to Serie A.

The Rosanero were heavily expected to be in a battle against relegation and in the early weeks of the season it was certainly appearing that way, as they did not win any of their opening six league games.

They finally broke that duck with a 2-1 victory over Cesena to lift them off the bottom of the table and they haven't looked back since.

An unbeaten run throughout November and December followed and although their form has trailed off since the turn of the year, they are 14 points clear of the bottom three and their top-flight status looks secure.

The form of attacking duo Paulo Dybala and Franco Vazquez has also been highlighted as one of the reasons for Palermo's success, but they have struggled in recent weeks, with their club unable to find the net in their previous four league games.

Recent form: WLDDLL



Milan

Head coach of Milan Filippo Inzaghi gestures during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 4, 2014© Getty Images

It has been another turbulent campaign for Milan, who have struggled to emulate the great teams that have come before them in their illustrious history.

After missing out on European qualification last time out, they replaced Clarence Seedorf with another club legend Filippo Inzaghi, and the new manager got off to a promising start.

That early optimism was quickly wiped out and a number of under-par displays have led to intense speculation surrounding Inzaghi's future beyond the end of May.

The Rossoneri have won just nine of their 28 league matches this season and currently sit nine points away from the final European spot.

A late bid for a top-five finish looks well beyond their reach, given that their only victories in 2015 have come against the three clubs in the relegation zone.

In their last match before the international break they did manage to pick up three points, with a double from Jeremy Menez helping them to see off lowly Cagliari.

Recent form: DWDDLW



Team News

Giacomo Bonaventura of AC Milan celebrates his goal with his team-mate Jeremy Menez during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SSC Napoli at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on December 14, 2014© Getty Images

Palermo will be without the injured Michel Morganella, while Sinisa Andjelkovic is forced to sit the game out with a ban.

The absence of the two defenders could force manager Giuseppe Iachini into a reshuffle at the back, but further up the pitch Dybala and Vazquez are expected to lead the attack.

Milan have been boosted by the returns of Italy internationals Mattia De Sciglio and Giacomo Bonaventura to training.

They are still without a number of first-team regulars, as Cristian Zapata, Stephan El Shaarawy, Cristian Zaccardo, Adil Rami and Riccardo Montolivo are expected to miss the game through injury.

Palermo possible starting lineup:
Sorrentino, Vitiello, Gonzalez, Terzi, Daprela, Barreto, Maresca, Rigoni, Quaison, Vazquez, Dybala

Milan possible starting lineup:
Lopez, Abate, Mexes, Paletta, Antonelli, Poli, De Jong, Bonaventura, Honda, Menez, Destro



Head To Head

Palermo pulled off one of the shocks of the season when these teams last met, as an own goal from Zapata and a strike from Dybala saw them earn a 2-0 win over Milan at San Siro.

There has been plenty of excitement whenever they have played each other and there have been 31 goals scored in their past 10 meetings.


Sports Mole Logo

We say: Palermo 2-2 AC Milan

Palermo and Milan are both struggling for form, but they are both more than capable of finding the back of the net. Due to the attacking players on show and the defensive frailties of each team, there could be plenty of goals, so we think that the match will end in a high-scoring draw.


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Head coach of Milan Filippo Inzaghi gestures during the Serie A match between AC Milan and AC Chievo Verona at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 4, 2014
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1Manchester CityMan City27212474205465
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4Manchester UnitedMan Utd26156552351751
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10West Ham UnitedWest Ham2696113239-733
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13Crystal Palace2676132734-727
14Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2676132839-1127
15Burnley2676132947-1827
16Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2667132234-1225
17Cardiff CityCardiff2674152447-2325
18Southampton2659122844-1624
19Fulham2645172558-3317
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2625191448-3411

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