AC Milan vs. Bari Match Preview, March 13th 2011

Top meets bottom in what is supposed to be a must win encounter for us.

AC Milan host Bari in San Siro on Sunday lunchtime knowing that a win would put them seven points ahead of Inter just one matchday (away vs. Palermo) before the big derby. What is supposed to be an easy encounter on paper might prove a tough test for Allegri’s side. Bari’s last visit to San Siro (in 2009) saw out a goalless draw between both sides. One must admit though that time (transfers actually) affected the soon to be Serie B side greatly.

The midweek fixture against Tottenham in the Champions League saw Milan exit from European competition and now have only the Serie A and the Italian Cup to focus on, which might prove to be a blessing in disguise. Milan will also be glad that Clarence Seedorf, who had a series of less than average performances this season, displayed a very impressive one against Spurs, one that suits his reputation. Antonini also got some playing time against Tottenham and might get the nod from Allegri today in order to regain lost fitness. Another alternative would be to put Emanuelson at LB to see if he can handle that position. Merkel featured as well against the English side and might feature in the starting eleven. Boateng was not summoned by Allegri for this match after he felt some ankle pain against Tottenham.

We must go all out attack from the first minute against Bari trying to score a goal so we won’t chase one for 90 minutes. The win would mean a lot as it would bring us one step closer to the Scudetto and one step farther from our nearest chasers, Inter (this could change if Napoli win against Parma on Sunday). Bari, on the other hand, have the slightest of hope for staying in Serie A and many argue that it’s only a matter of time before they are mathematically relegated. Even a win at San Siro would not do them much good, but it surely wouldn’t hurt. Basically, Bari has nothing to lose with their fate very close to be sealed, so they might prove a tricky obstacle to overcome.

Milan still has to do without Pirlo, Massimo Ambrosini, Boateng and Inzaghi, all injured.

Recent Serie A Form:

AC Milan: W W W W D

Bari: L D L D L

Expected Milan Formation:

Abbiati, Abate, Nesta, Thiago Silva, Antonini, Gattuso, Van Bommel, Merkel, Robinho, Ibrahimovic, Pato