Mario Balotelli’s suspension will see Giampaolo Pazzini lead the line for AC Milan, while Kevin-Prince Boateng continues to be preferred to M’Baye Niang on the right side of attack. Aside from Riccardo Montolivo, Massimiliano Allegri has rotated his midfielders throughout the season but Sulley Muntari and Mathieu Flamini currently appear to be in favour. Similarly Mattia De Sciglio now appears to be first choice left back ahead of Kevin Constant.
Walter Mazzarri has no absentees, but will continue to choose between Miguel Britos and Alessandro Gamberini in defence, and Blerim Dzemaili and Gokhan Inler in midfield.
With seven games to go in Serie A both sides appear secure in the remaining Champions League places, with Milan possessing a 6 point lead over 4th placed Fiorentina, yet neither team can either expect to mount a serious challenge to Juventus, who have a 9 point lead at the top. Nevertheless Napoli will hope a victory can take advantage of any negative reaction to Juventus’ Champions League exit, whilst Milan won’t want to lose ground to the chasing pack… (Read more)
The second Milan derby of the season sees the city rivals separated by just one point in Serie A. The probable line-ups reflect the tactical changes both clubs have made since their last meeting.
Inter Milan have switched between a 4-3-1-2 system and a 3-5-2 variation all season. Against AC Milan in October Andrea Stramaccioni opted for a back three, but an injury to Walter Samuel has seen Inter persist with a 4-3-1-2 in recent weeks. This is slightly confused by the successful implementation of a 4-2-3-1 shape against CFR Cluj in the Europa League, but against a league rival Inter will probably revert to a more conservative midfield diamond.
Milan are returning to league action after their celebrated victory over Barcelona in the Champions League. Massimiliano Allegri has been widely praised for his tactical plan against the Catalans, and will surely want to transfer the team’s performance to Sunday’s derby… (Read more)
AC Milan have been a team searching for an identity this season, with key players leaving in the summer, but Massimiliano Allegri has done remarkably well to keep the club competitive. Milan’s most regular system is a 4-3-3 variation, with a designated holding midfielder and a narrow front three. Mario Balotelli has recently starred as the central forward but will be cup-tied, so either Stephan El Shaarawy or Giampaolo Pazzini will play in his place. Kevin-Prince Boateng is likely to start on the left in place of the injured Robinho to offer defensive solidity, while Allegri can choose between Riccardo Montilivo, Sulley Muntari, Antonio Nocerino and Mathieu Flamini for midfield positions. With Nigel De Jong injured, Massimo Ambrosini will probably play in the holding role.
Milan face Barcelona, the team that have defined the 4-3-3 shape more than any other in recent years. With manager Tito Vilanova recovering from cancer treatment in New York, assistant Jordi Roura will continue to take charge of the team but has no major injury concerns… (Read more)