AC Milan vs Pescara, Preview: Can the Dolphins swim with Sharks at the San Siro?

Tullio M. Puglia

A rejuvenated AC Milan shouldn't take Serie A strugglers Pescara lightly when the two sides meet on Sunday.

On paper, this seems like an easy victory for Milan. The beauty about Football is that games aren't won on paper.
A win will move Milan closer to the European places, but victory for the visitors will see them pull clear from the relegation zone.

The pressure on Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri seems to have eased a little over the past month. Three league wins in a row seems to suggest that the Rossoneri have finally found their form. However, their last two victories have come on the road and Allegri is all too aware that games at the San Siro have been far from cut and dried so far this season.

While Genoa, Cagliari and Chievo have all been swept aside, Sampdoria, Atalanta and Fiorentina have all left the San Siro with maximum points. The Jekyll and Hyde form has continued as Milan have also lost the Derby della Madonnina, but beaten league leaders Juventus. They are yet to win at home in the Champions League in three attempts.

The home side warmed up for Sunday's match with a comprehensive 3-0 Coppa Italia victory over Reggina in midweek. Both Luca Antonini and Rodney Strasser made their comebacks from injury.

Plucky Pescara proved they still have plenty of fight left in them after recording a much-needed 2-0 victory over Genoa in last weekend's relegation six-pointer.

Cristiano Bergodi is finally off the mark with one win in three at his new club. Even in defeat to Roma and Napoli, the Delfini have tried to play their own game. It seemed to be working against Napoli until Antonio Bocchetti's unfortunate dismissal changed the course of the game.

Croatian Ante Vukusic finally got off the mark last weekend and is expected to keep his place alongside last week's other goalscorer Elvis Abbruscato.

Milan's Nigel De Jong is out for the season after rupturing his Achilles tendon in last weekend's 4-2 win at Torino, but Kevin-Prince Boateng returns from suspension. Robinho should retain his place despite being linked with a move back to Brazil. The injury saga over Alexandre Pato continues to rumble on, with his agent saying he's fit to play and the club saying he's not. The Duck isn't expected to feature on the field on Sunday.

AC Milan injuries and suspensions
Out: Daniele Bonera, Nigel De Jong (injured)

Pescara injuries and suspensions
Out: Simone Romagnoli, Emmanuel Cascione, Uros Cosic, Lucas Chiaretti, Manuele Blasi, Giuseppe Colucci, Luca Savelloni (injured)

Match Date/Time: Sunday 16th December 2012 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET

Venue: San Siro, Milan, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 2 (Italy) beIN Sport en Espanol (U.S.)

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