Following the third successive defeat in all competitions, AC Milan need to try and save some pride by beating high-flying Parma, but that will be no easy task. I Ducali are unbeaten in last 15 Serie A matches and arrive at San Siro brimming with confidence, searching for fifth straight triumph on the road.
Seedorf already under pressure
Clarence Seedorf was seen by many as Milan saviour following numerous struggles under Max Allegri, but a couple of months into his reign and the Rossoneri are not an inch closer to where they want to be. They are already out of all Cup competitions and 37 points off the top of the league standings, as Curva Sud fans pointed out when announcing the protest against Adriano Galliani and some of club’s players. And while Milan produced a promising performance in the first leg against Atletico Madrid, they were pretty disappointing in the return match, as well as in league defeats to Juventus and Udinese. It is for that reason that I don’t see why they have been made favourites to beat Parma, a side that are clearly on top of their game at the moment. The Rossoneri are completely out of confidence at the moment and they don’t seem to have a solution for the situation they are in, so everything suggests we will see another uninspiring performance from Clarence Seedorf’s men. Being in desperate need of a morale-boosting win, the hosts can be trusted to go all guns blazing at Parma, but that could come back to haunt them as I Ducali can be lethal on the break.
Mario Balotelli has recovered from a muscle strain, but Mattia De Sciglio is banned and Stephan El Shaarawy is out injured.
Parma fans can be forgiven for reminiscing of the old glory days having seen Roberto Donadoni’s men in action this season. It’s been a while since the club were last involved in the race for European positions, and having come this far, I Ducali are determined not to squander this excellent opportunity. With Donadoni having created a homogeneous unit from the squad packed with seasoned Serie A players, Parma have largely impressed this season and the mere fact they sit two points behind fourth-placed Fiorentina, but with a game in hand, speaks volumes about the standard of their performances. The team have been showing incredible consistency of late, having embarked on a 15-match unbeaten run (W8 D7) in the league, but it is their away displays that have left everyone flabbergasted. Parma have now won last four Serie A matches on the road, scoring ten and conceding just one goal in the process, and with Milan all over the place at the moment, surely they have a good chance of picking up at least one point from San Siro.
Gabriel Paletta is suspended, whereas back-up players Jherson Vergara, Nicola Pozzi and Jose Mauri miss out through injury.
With the team on a three-match losing run and fans set to stage a protest, Milan will be under tremendous pressure when they take on Parma, and that is likely to prevent them from giving their best. Meanwhile, I Ducali are playing with a lot of confidence and having won last four matches on the road, they look a good bet not to lose at San Siro.
Top pick: Parma not to lose 2.05 (21/20) @ bet365
Alternative pick 1: Both teams to score 1.87 (13/15) @ 888sport
Alternative pick 2: Away win 4.60 (18/5) @ Betfair