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Serie A Preview: AC Milan-Parma

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  PROBABLE LINEUPS

AC MILAN

Abbiati
Zaccardo, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio
Flamini, Ambrosini, Montolivo
Niang, Balotelli, El Shaarawy
PARMA

Pavarini
Benalouane, Paletta, Lucarelli
Biabiany, Mariga, Valdes, Parolo, Gobbi
Amauri, Belfodil

Midfielder Riccardo Montolivo returns to the Milan squad after serving a one-match ban on Sunday against Cagliari, but striker Giampaolo Pazzini has still been struggling with a muscle strain and will likely start on the bench, which means Mario Balotelli will once again play from the beginning.

Left back Kevin Constant is also unlikely to feature due to an ankle problem suffered in training ahead of last weekend’s match against Cagliari, and defender Daniele Bonera is also set to miss out with a niggling muscle problem.

Parma welcome defender Aleandro Rosi and midfielder Marco Marchionni back from suspension but will be without goalkeeper Antonio Mirante, who is expected to be out two more weeks after undergoing minor knee surgery earlier this month.

Midfielder Daniele Galloppa remains the Gialloblu’s most serious injury worry. The 27-year-old suffered a cruciate ligament injury to his left knee in an October match against Sampdoria, and as of yet there is no timetable for his return.


  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Right back Christian Zaccardo, acquired in the January transfer window as part of a swap deal with Parma involving Djamel Mesbah, could make his Milan debut against his former club on Friday.
  • Once struggling to get out of the bottom third of the table, Milan has yet to lose a Serie A match this calendar year and has climbed all the way to fifth in the standings. It can leap-frog Inter with a win on Friday - a result that would also see it pull level with third-place Lazio.
  • Parma has won just a single match in 2013 and has scored only three goals in its last five matches.
  • Parma held Milan to a 1-1 draw when these sides last met in September. Prior to that, however, the Rossoneri had beaten the Gialloblu four times in succession, by a combined score of 11-1.
  • Since joining Milan from Manchester City last month Mario Balotelli has scored three goals in two matches.
  • Parma has the worst offensive record in Serie A’s top 12 and its highest goal-scorer, Ishak Belfodil, has bagged just seven goals this season.
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