AC Milan will look to consolidate their position at the top of Serie A when they welcome Parma to the San Siro on Sunday at 7:45pm.
AC Milan XI: Donnarumma; Calabria, Gabbia, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessie, Castillejo, Calhanoglu, Diaz; Rebic.
Parma XI: Sepe; Iacoponi, Osorio, Alves, Gagliolo; Hernani, Brugman, Kurtic; Karamoh, Gervinho, Cornelius.
Where to watch AC Milan vs Parma on TV:
- UK: Premier Sports 1
- US: ESPN+
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Scoreline prediction: AC Milan 2-0 Parma
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AC Milan vs Parma build-up, previous line-ups & injury news:
Stefano Pioli’s men are the early pace-setters in the Italian top-flight, with the Rossoneri just one of two clubs (alongside Juventus) yet to taste defeat this season. The hosts will be aiming to maintain that purple patch when struggling Parma come to town, with the Crociati currently sitting perilously in 15th.
The fortunes of Milan have been transformed under Pioli, who was an unpopular appointment just over a year ago, with the Italian coach overseeing a blistering start to both the domestic and European campaign. With Milan currently leading the charge in Serie A, they also topped Group H in the Europa League.
The hosts are unbeaten in their last 11 home Serie A games and have accumulated the most wins of any club across Europe’s top five divisions since June. Against a side they have netted in each of their last 14 league games against, Milan should have little trouble brushing past Parma.
Fabio Liverani’s side have only won one of their last seven Serie A games and sit just four points above the drop zone, so coming up against the division’s most in-form side does not make for a favourable forecast, particularly with Juventus travelling to the Ennio Tardini next week.
- AC Milan (vs Sparta Prague): Tatarausanu; Conti, Duarte, Kalulu, Dalot; Maldini, Tonali, Krunic; Castillejo, Hauge, Colombo
- Parma (vs Benevento): Sepe; Busi, Osorio, Alves, Iacoponi; Hernani, Scozzarella, Kurtic; Karamoh, Gervinho, Cornelius.
Collectively Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Ismael Bennacer have missed the past two games and while they are expected back against Parma, Pioli is unlikely to feature the duo from the off. Rafael Leao returned to action against Sparta Prague and could be handed a starting berth this weekend. Pioli made wholesale changes for the midweek win over Zelezna Sparta but should return to a more familiar line-up against Parma, who are without Wylan Cyprien, Riccardo Gagliolo, Vincent Laurini and Alberto Grassi.
Player to watch: Franck Kessie (AC Milan)
The goalscoring exploits of Ibrahimovic have dominated the back pages, but the industrious showings of Franck Kessie have been just as important to Pioli’s side, if not more so. At 23, the midfield engine has shown a maturity that far exceeds his age and has shone in the absence of his partner in crime, Ismael Bennacer.
To understand the full complexion of Kessie’s multifunctional role in Pioli’s system, one only has to look at his metrics for this season: he ranks first both for passes (493) and recoveries (82) among Milan players in Serie A. The Ivorian also has an impressive four goals to his name, second only to Ibrahimovic (10) at Milan.
That considered, it is no wonder Milan currently find themselves making considerable noise in the upper reaches of the Serie A table; with a talent like Kessie orbiting the centre circle and dominating play, Pioli’s attack is able to play with the handbrake off, and his defence has ample protection.
Serie A 2020/21 recent form:
- AC Milan: WWWDW
- Parma: DWLDD
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