AC Milan vs Parma, Preview: Donadoni hoping for an upset on Milan return

Valerio Pennicino

Roberto Donadoni is something of an icon for AC Milan, having made almost 300 appearances in two different spells. Now, he returns to the San Siro again, coaching the opposing side, Parma.

The crociati haven't won in their last five games, equaling their season's longest winless run. Still sitting tenth in the table, any talk of a crisis is extremely hyperbolic. Nevertheless, for a team which had slight hopes of European qualification at the start of the campaign, arresting the slide is top priority.

As for AC Milan, they are unbeaten in their last five, and have recovered well from their shambolic start to the season. Fifth in the league, they would leapfrog rivals Inter Milan with a victory here, ahead of Inter's tough clash against Fiorentina on Sunday.

They do, however, have a fairly ginormous list of absentees ahead of this one, with no fewer than five players out injured, and one other suspended. Aside from top scorer Stephan El Sharaawy -- whose absence will likely see Bojan make his first start in over a month -- Marco Amelia, Luca Antonini, Robinho, Daniele Bonera and captain Massimo Ambrosini have been omitted from Max Allegri's squad.

But, with Super Mario set to start in attack, and having won five on the bounce at home, they will be favourites for the game. Things, though, aren't totally perfect, illustrated by their disappointing 1-1 draw against relegation-threatened side Cagliari last weekend, rescuing a point via a Balotelli penalty inside the final ten minutes.

Parma may be enduring a tough run -- disappointing in a goalless draw with Genoa last weekend -- but they are fortunately in a slightly healthier position on the absentees front. However, star player Antonio Mirante will be out, as well as McDonald Mariga, Fabiano Santacroce and Daniele Galloppa. They haven't won away against Milan in the league since 1996 -- that same year Donadoni was donning the rossoneri jersey.

But, the gialloblù have tended to deliver against the big clubs this season, taking points off Inter, Milan and Juventus. We could be in for another surprise.

AC Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Stephan El Shaarawy, Marco Amelia, Luca Antonini, Robinho, Daniele Bonera (injured) Massimo Ambrosini (suspended)

Parma Injuries and Suspensions

Out: Antonio Mirante, McDonald Mariga, Fabiano Santacroce, Daniele Galloppa (injured)

Match Date/Time: Friday 15 February 2013, 20:45 local, 14:45 E.T.

Venue: Stadio Giuseppe Meazza (San Siro), Milan, Italy

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy), beIN Sport, beIN SPORT en Español (U.S.)

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