Chievo vs. AC Milan preview: Milan can leapfrog Napoli with Verona victory

Dino Panato

If AC Milan continue their sterling league form in 2013 with a victory over Chievo, they will leap up to second in the table with Napoli not playing until later in the evening.

Chievo enter this match on the back of a good run, two consecutive victories coming against Pescara and Napoli and they also took advantage of the international break to play a friendly against Lugano to ensure no rustiness has set in whilst some of their players were off representing their countries. Their two victories have gone a long way to ensuring Chievo's safety in Serie A and they now sit ten points above Siena in the final relegation place with only nine matches remaining, meaning that their safety is virtually assured. Another positive for the Flying Donkeys is a relatively straightforward run-in, this match against Milan their only clash against any of the current top six sides.

Their Champions League capitulation against Barcelona notwithstanding, Milan have been in extraordinary form in 2013, unbeaten in the league since the turn of the year (ten matches in total). Max Allegri appears to have hit upon a winning formula after struggling so badly early on with the Rossoneri spending much of the first half of the season in the bottom half of the table.

The addition of Mario Balotelli has been a masterstroke, the striker finally looking happy and settled and showing everyone that he can be the player we always knew he could be with seven goals in six matches thus far. He was also in sterling form for Italy in the week, with a stunner against Brazil in a friendly followed by a brace against Malta in their qualifer, the second of which he combined brilliantly with young team-mate Mattia De Sciglio.

Milan's form also means they are odds on to qualify for the Champions' League, a prospect which looked dim at best at the turn of the year. They now sit just two points behind second-placed Napoli and given the Partenopei's indifferent form of late, there is every chance they could even avoid the inconvenience of the qualifying rounds by finishing behind Juventus.

Both sides are relatively untroubled by injuries, with only long-term absentees unavailable for Chievo, whilst Kevin-Prince Boateng and Giampaolo Pazzini remain on the injury table for Milan alongside Didac Vila and Nigel De Jong, both ruled out for the season.

Chievo injuries and suspensions:

Out: Nikos Spyropoulos, Gennaro Sardo, Simone Bentivoglio (injured).

Milan injuries and suspensions:

Out: Kevin-Prince Boateng, Giampaolo Pazzini, Nigel De Jong, Didac Vila (injured)

Match Date/Time: Saturday 30th March 2013, 17:30 local, 11:30 E.T.

Venue: Stadio Marc Antionio Bentegodi (Verona)

TV: Sky Calcio 1, Premium Calcio (Italy), RAI Internazionale (USA)

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