Milan – Parma
For Pippo Inzaghi, Sunday night brings yet another moment of truth. Italy’s sporting press were united in proclaiming Tuesday’s Coppa Italia match against Lazio a must-win fixture if the former striker wanted to keep his job as manager of Milan. The Rossoneri lost 1-0, but somehow Inzaghi is still standing.
In the end, only Silvio Berlusconi will decide how many chances to give to his former striker. But the owner’s patience would certainly be pushed to the limit if Milan failed to pick up three points against Parma this weekend. Not only are the Ducali bottom of Serie A, but they are coming off a defeat to an extremely limited Cesena team on their own turf.
Milan will have a new weapon at their disposal in the person of Mattia Destro, signed from Roma this week on loan with an option to buy at the end of the season. The striker has claimed the No9 shirt once worn by Inzaghi, but it remains to be seen whether he can be his manager’s saviour. Destro is a ruthless penalty box striker with an impressive touches-to-goals ratio, but his arrival will necessitate a reshuffling of the Rossoneri’s formations.
Jeremy Menez has enjoyed a productive first five months as Milan’s false nine, but is expected to drop back to a deeper role in order to make room for Destro. A similar move seemed to dampen the Frenchman’s effectiveness when the club tried to integrate Fernando Torres at the start of this season, but that might be a simple question of compatibility between two different pairs of players.
What we can say is that the new signing will have as good a chance as he could hope for to get off on the right foot against opponents who have conceded 27 goals in their nine away games to date. This ought to be a comfortable afternoon for Milan, despite their recent woes.
Total goals by home team – over 3.5 at 3.25