Milan vs. Bologna preview: Bologna return to the scene of their Coppa heartbreak

Mario Carlini / Iguana Press

Bologna were oh-so--close to pulling off a shock at the San Siro in midweek and if they can repeat that performance, they may be able to leave Milan with a vital point or three.

After coming from 2-0 down to take Inter Milan to extra time in the Coppa Italia in midweek, Bologna were then dealt the cruellest of blows with Andrea Ranocchia scoring a 119th minute winner to dump them out of the competition and render all of their hard work for nothing. Nevertheless, Bologna showed a spirit and work ethic that will be vital in their fight against relegation. They currently sit in 14th, four points above the relegation zone and in the midst of a congested lower half of the table, however following their midweek near-heroics and their last league match, a 4-0 win over Chievo Verona, confidence may be beginning to grow at the Dall'Ara.

AC Milan cemented their burgeoning reputation as a one-man team against Sampdoria last week, drawing 0-0 despite creating a host of chances. The reason? Stephen El Shaarawy was virtually anonymous and despite the best efforts of Bojan Krkic to make things happen, Milan looked blunt and ineffectual in the final third. The Rossoneri have been linked with moves for Mario Balotelli, David Beckham and Kaka in January however Massimiliano Allegri has stated that Kaka is the only target they are after. If they can sort out the small issue of the Brazilian's gargantuan wages, Kaka's vision and passing ability and goal threat would provide a much needed boost for the remainder of the season.

Milan should be the favourites at home however after their travails against Sampdoria last week, a lot may depend on whether El-Shaarawy decides to turn up or not. Bologna showed in midweek that they have the spirit to mix with the bigger sides on occasion and if they can repeat their performance, they could quite conceivably come away with a result from this match.

Milan still have a lengthy injury list with Massimo Ambrosini coming off injured last week to join long-term absentees Nigel De Jong and Didac Vila in the stands. Bologna are largely untroubled by injuries and could welcome Robert Acquafresca back into their line up.

Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Massimo Ambrosini, Mario Yepes, Nigel De Jong, Didac Vila (injured), Djamel Mesbah (African Cup of Nations). In doubt: Luca Antonini, Sulley Muntari, Daniele Bonera.

Bologna Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Henry Gimenez, Cesare Natali (injured). In doubt: Robert Acquafresca, Saphir Taider, Filippo Lombardi

Match Date / Time: Sunday, January 20 at 3 p.m. local / 9 a.m. ET

Venue: Stadio San Siro, Milan

TV: Sky Calcio 1, BeIN Sport USA

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