AC Milan must make do without Mario Balotelli as it attempts to kick-start its Serie A season with a win over Udinese on Saturday.
The striker has completed a three-match suspension, which was imposed for a push on the referee following Milan’s defeat to Napoli on Sept. 22, but he has now been sidelined with a thigh injury suffered on international duty with Italy.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side has just two wins from its first seven games, leaving the Rossoneri down in 12th position and 13 points behind league-leader Roma. But they can take heart from their impressive home record, as they have won four of their five games in all competitions at San Siro.
And they also received welcome news that a decision ordering them to play one match behind closed doors has been suspended, so fans will be allowed to attend Saturday’s game. Milan was hit with the sanction as punishment for discriminatory chants from its supporters during the defeat to Juventus.
Allegri used the international break to give his fringe players a chance to impress in a friendly against Caen last weekend, but they failed to make the most of the opportunity as the French side won 3-0.
While Balotelli misses out, midfielder Kaka could return from injury along with Valter Birsa and Matias Silvestre, but Mattia De Sciglio (knee) remains on the sidelines.
Udinese was a 2-0 winner over Cagliari last time out, but it will be eager to address its away form, having lost all three Serie A games on its travels. Francesco Guidolin’s side is eighth in the table and will go in search of its first Serie A away win over Milan since 2007.
- Sports & Recreation
- Massimiliano Allegri