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Apr 25, 2015 at 5pm UK
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Preview: Udinese vs. AC Milan

:Headline: Preview: Udinese vs. AC Milan:
Sports Mole looks ahead to this weekend's Serie A match between Udinese and AC Milan.

Two teams who have endured frustrating seasons will meet on Saturday evening, as Udinese take on AC Milan at the Stadio Friuli.

The Rossoneri look like missing out on European qualification for the second season running, while their opponents are struggling badly in the bottom half of the Serie A table.


A season that had started with so much promise for Udinese is limping to a miserable conclusion and the players look as if they have already started their summer holidays.

They were third in the league after winning four of their opening five matches, but they have won just four games in Serie A since to completely extinguish any hopes of getting back into Europe.

Andrea Stramaccioni's side have not won in their previous six outings and the pressure now is surely on the manager, who only took charge of the club last summer.

They are currently in 15th place and 12 points above the bottom three, but if they keep failing to pick up points then there is a very real chance they could be dragged into the relegation battle.

The Bianconeri did at least show some grit and determination to come from behind and snatch a 1-1 draw against Chievo last weekend, following two abject performances in defeats to Parma and Palermo.

Recent form: DDDLLD

AC Milan

It has also been an underwhelming season for AC Milan, who are languishing in mid-table and have failed to put together any sort of run to build some much-needed confidence and momentum.

They are actually just six points behind Fiorentina, who occupy the final Europa League qualifying spot, so a return to the continent is not completely out of the question for Filippo Inzaghi's side.

The main problem for the Rossoneri has been turning draws into wins and only Empoli and Sampdoria have played out more stalemates in the league than they have this campaign.

It is perhaps no surprise then that their last two games have ended in draws to Sampdoria and Inter Milan, although they can consider themselves fortunate to have earned a point against their city rivals in the Derby della Madonnina, as they were outplayed for large spells and were the beneficiaries of a controversial disallowed goal.

That draw against Inter stretched their unbeaten run to four matches, while they have only lost one of their previous nine league games, indicating a new-found resoluteness and belief from the players.

Recent form: DLWWDD

Team News

Udinese will have to make do without the injured Bruno Fernandes, while a number of other players are potential doubts.

Molla Wague and Thomas Heurtaux are both expected to miss out through injury and Maurizio Domizzi could also be out after bruising his foot last weekend.

Veteran striker Antonio Di Natale, who has scored 15 goals this season, should return to the starting lineup.

Milan will be without the injured trio of Stephan El Shaarawy, Riccardo Montolivo and Michael Essien.

However, Mattia Destro could be in line to start after appearing from the bench last time out.

Udinese possible starting lineup:
Karnezis, Piris, Danilo, Bubnjic, Widmer, Allan, Guilherme, Pinzi, Silva, Kone, Di Natale

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Lopez, Abate, Mexes, Paletta, Antonelli, Poli, De Jong, Bonaventura, Cerci, Destro, Menez

Head To Head

It was Milan who came out on top when these teams last met in November, as two goals from Jeremy Menez helped them to a 2-0 victory at San Siro.

However, the recent meetings between the teams have tended to go either way, with three wins for Milan and three victories for Udinese in their previous six clashes.

There have also tended to be a few goals in games involving these two over the years and in 2011 there was an extraordinary 4-4 draw, with Zlatan Ibrahimovic scoring a late equaliser as Milan fought back from three goals down.

We say: Udinese 1-2 AC Milan

Udinese have been in such a poor run of form and they don't seem to be able to get out of their slump. Milan haven't exactly hit the heights this season, but they are enjoying a decent spell and we expect them to keep up their unbeaten run by claiming the points at the Stadio Friuli.

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