The pressure building on AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri was temporarily alleviated by a first home win of the season in midweek. Next up is a trip to the Stadio Ennio Tardini on Saturday (5pm, BST) to face a Parma side who have made a similarly patchy start to the season.
The loss of Sebastian Giovinco to Juventus has hit Parma hard. Giovinco was directly involved – scoring or assisting – in 48% of Parma’s 54 league goals last season. A number of players who may have been expected to fill that void – Dorlan Pabon, Sotiris Ninis, Raffaele Palladino – are yet to do so.
Milan have had similar troubles finding the back of the net. With last season’s top-scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic heading to Paris, Antonio Cassano swapping the red and black of Milan for the blue and black of Inter, and Robinho and Alexandre Pato both injured, it has been an unfamiliar Milan attack in the early weeks of the campaign.
In the absence of established stars, 19-year old Stephen El Shaarawy stepped to the fore with a well taken double in the 2-0 win over Cagliari, goals that rather papered over the cracks of another fairly poor performance. The away side went close on at least three occasions and only faded once reduced to ten men just past the hour mark.
- Betting Tip: Robinho could return to the starting eleven after coming off the bench for the last half hour in midweek, but even so these teams look reasonably well matched. We therefore suggest backing the draw @ biggest price of 12/5 with Paddy Power.