Both AC Milan and Chievo Verona are failing at their objectives. Chievo are a team selected to, once again, avoid relegation in a relatively relaxed manner, securing safety before the last 2 or 3 rounds. And to annoy everyone who's not their fan (so, everyone except those nine people) with the most boring football known to man. Milan were supposed to be fighting for a Champions League spot, with optimistic voices even discussing the scudetto. But now we're 12 rounds in and reality has hit. The Flying Donkeys are dead last, with just one win on the season. Even a victory on Sunday wouldn't lift them to safety. Milan, meanwhile, are in 11th, a staggering 18 points out of the Champions League spots.
Even with Milan's poor form, they're still the favorites. Is there any way Giuseppe Sannino can structure his side to find a win? He'll make a few changes from last week's spectacular 0-0 draw with Bologna (thanks for making that the Monday night match, Serie A). Boukary Dramé will replace Manuel Pamic at left back. Perparim Hetemaj returns and will take his place on the left side of three man midfield instead of Marcelo Estigarribia. The only question mark is whether to play Cyril Thereau or club legend Sergio Pellissier up top.
The hosts might feel comforted, however, by the ever increasing problems Milan face. In addition to the ever present injury list, and Mario Balotelli being suspended again, Massimiliano Allegri is aware his time is running out. A loss at the Bentegodi may spell the end. But at least Allegri can welcome a few players back, including first choice goalkeeper Christian Abbiati, who returns from injury, and centerback Philippe Mexès, who's finally finished his suspension.
Without Balotelli, Stephen El Shaarawy and Giampaolo Pazzini, Allegri will continue to cobble together his starting XI into some semblance of a 4-3-3. Alessandro Matri, Kakà and Valter Birsa will start up front, despite the fact that this formation doesn't seem to suit either Kakà or Birsa Still, Allegri probably thinks "what the hell, let's just try this, it might work". Which might be how Milan is run these days in general.
No matter how the sides line up, it's not going to be a pretty match. Both teams absolutely must win it and both of coaches are at risk of getting the boot. Which means it will likely finish in an inspiring 0-0 draw.
Chievo Verona injuries and suspensions
Adrian Calello, Claiton, Simone Bentivoglio (injuried)
AC Milan injuries and suspensions
Projected line ups
Sunday, November 10 at 3 p.m. local, 9 a.m. ET
Stadio Marc'Antonio Bentegodi, Verona
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