Chievo - Milan
Stadio Marc’Antonio Bentegodi
Milan
Chievo

An important tie at the Bentegodi on Saturday night sees hosts Chievo look to put more daylight between themselves and the bottom four.

On paper this looks as routine as possible for the Rossoneri who certainly hold an Indian sign over Chievo. The two teams have met 27 times with Pippo Inzaghi’s men victorious on 20 occasions to two. However, with the inconsistency of the Milanese giants and Chievo a much improved force under Rolando Maran, this could be a potential banana skin for Inzaghi.

The Flying Donkey’s enter this game on the back of the first real setback under Maran, with last weekend’s heavy defeat at Empoli still fresh in the mind. Veteran stopper Albano Bizzarri spoke in the week of a need to get back to basics. “We took a slap, but slap us and we react. We hope that this is good for the future. The Milan game is a good opportunity to show that what happened at Empoli was an accident. Another lesson we have learned is that when we do not play by Chievo standards, a result like Sunday happens. The coach has told us right things, drawn our attention on the training field and I think there was nothing to add.”

The suspension of midfielder Ruben Botta could mean a change in formation, with Alberto Paloschi coming in to the side to add more firepower alongside Riccardo Meggiorini in attack.

Milan, meanwhile, seem to finally be putting together a consistent run of form, their only defeat in the last four coming at the home of the champions. Philippe Mexes makes his return from a four-game suspension following his meltdown against Lazio and is likely to walk straight back in to the defence due to injury to Adil Rami, whilst ’keeper Diego Lopez also returns from suspension.

Inzaghi has ordered double training sessions this week in an attempt to keep his players in the same groove as last weekend’s comfortable 2-0 win over another relegation-threatened team, Cesena, and there is a feel-good air in Lombardy. With Chievo fighting for their lives near the foot of the table, there could be a very different air in the Province of Verona.

Keep an eye on: Valter Birsa (Chievo) On-loan players seem to make a habit of being decisive against their parent clubs, and with a point to prove, Birsa may add to the list this weekend.

Form Guide: Chievo (L L W W L) Milan (L W L D W)

Last season: Chievo 0-0 Milan

Stat fact: Milan have not gone three games without defeat since the end of November.

Chievo (probable): Bizzarri; Schelotto, Cesar, Dainelli, Zukanovic; Birsa, Izco, Radovanovic, Hetemaj; Meggiorini, Paloschi Suspended: Botta

Milan (probable): Lopez; Bonera, Mexes, Paletta, Antonelli; Montolivo, De Jong, Poli; Bonaventura; Menez, Destro Suspended: none