Tullio M. Puglia
Can anyone really see anything but an emphatic home win at the San Siro?
AC Milan may have been humbled in Europe by Barcelona in midweek, but Palermo are a side that have seemingly already accepted their fate of playing in Serie B next season.
The Sicilians have had more coaching changes than wins this season and are currently propping up the Serie A standings with Pescara. Despite drawing four out of their last six games, you have to go way back to Week 14 and a 3-1 victory over Catania for Palermo's last league victory. The side are five points adrift of safety and are in desperate need of a pick me up.
Giuseppe Sannino has decided to follow Gian Piero Gasperini's path and return to the club that was only too hasty to show him the door in the infancy of the season. Those that fail to heed mistakes are doomed to repeat them.
The Rossoneri have won their last seven home games in Serie A. They have also won this fixture quite comfortably (3-0 and 3-1) the past two seasons. Palermo surrendered a two goal lead and let Milan salvage a 2-2 draw at the Renzo Barbera back in Week 10. Arguably, that was during a period when Milan were wobbling and Massimiliano Allegri's position was under threat. Having now stabilised their domestic form, Allegri's side are unbeaten domestically in 2013 and have set their sights as high as second.
Milan lie just two points behind Napoli and can call on the services of Mario Balotelli after the former Manchester City man was cup-tied in midweek. Giampaolo Pazzini is absent after picking up a micro fracture to his fibula against Genoa, Nigel De Jong is out for the season and Kevin Constant is suspended.
Palermo, jeered by a small section of fans during training this week, make the trip without several players. Top scorer Fabrizio Miccoli, Edgar Barreto and Andrea Dossena missed the final training session with injuries and join long-term pair Abel Hernandez and Andrea Mantovani on the sidelines.
AC Milan injuries and suspensions
Out: Nigel De Jong, Giampaolo Pazzini (injured) Kevin Constant (suspended)
Palermo injuries and suspensions
Out: Andrea Dossena, Edgar Barreto, Fabrizio Miccoli, Abel Hernandez, Andrea Mantovani (injured)
Match Date/Time: Sunday 17th March 2013 3:00 p.m. local, 9:00 a.m. ET
Venue: San Siro, Milan, Italy
TV: Sky Calcio 1(Italy) RAI Internazionale, beIN Sport (U.S) ESPN (UK)