Dancing with the Devil

Enzo Maresca

After two wins in three, Palermo travel north to face the red side of Milan in another tough away encounter.

Two late wins against Cesena and Chievo at home for Palermo were separated by a 2-0 loss away against Juventus. Sunday’s opponents A.C. Milan, in contrast, have only lost once this season against Juventus. It’s an inflated compliment when you consider Pippo Inzaghi’s side have also succumbed to four draws in nine, most recently in the Cagliari encounter which ended 1-1.

Milan have recently seen Riccardo Montolivo back in training after fracturing his tibia playing for the Azzurri in May but it’s too early for him to make an appearance against the Rosanero. For now the biggest question will be who will start upfront for the Rossoneri? This week Giampaolo Pazzini’s wife, Silvia Slitti took to social media to criticise the lack of playing time her husband is receiving under Pippo Inzaghi. The outburst may see the tight-lipped forward spending even more time in the stands. A start for Fernando Torres seems more likely, the former Chelsea man will be looking to add to the one goal he has scored in seven appearances for the his new side. If Torres does get the start, he will most likely start upfront alone as their 4-3-3 lineup may change to a 4-2-3-1. It’s a tactic which they have used successfully against the smaller clubs this season. Incredibly enough, Milan boast the best scoring mark in the league as their 18 goals scored lead the way. It’s been their defense which has let them down as they’ve leaked 12 goals in total.

Palermo’s midfield will be called into question after some dubious moments to date, Francesco Bolzoni should be the man most likely to start in place of the missing Luca Rigoni who misses the game through suspension. Other than the aforementioned absence, Beppe Iachini will have a full squad to choose from. If Palermo opt to use their 3-4-1-2 it will be another opportunity for Franco Vazquez, Andrea Belotti and Paulo Dybala to take the lead upfront but rumors suggest a return to the 3-5-2.

The star man to watch will be Stefano Sorrentino. His performances between the posts have continued to keep Samir Ujkani on the bench and most importantly brought points back to the Renzo Barbera when needed most. It appeared almost certain the 35 year old would leave in the summer, as he was linked to a move to Juventus to back up Buffon. Thankfully, he stayed and his efforts this week will look to frustrate the likes of Keisuke Honda come Sunday.

Coming into the match Milan have scored in all but one of their games this season but similarly, have only managed to keep a clean sheet once with a 2-0 win over Chievo. The pressure is all on Milan to pick up all three points this weekend, while Palermo have nothing to lose.

Forza Palermo!!!

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