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Serie A Matchday XII Preview: Milan v Udinese

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Winless in the last five Milan welcome Udinese to the San Siro.

Valerio Pennicino/Getty Images

On Sunday Milan welcome the always young and talented Udinese to the San Siro.  Sure they have one of the oldest and greatest strikers Serie A has ever seen in Antonio Di Natale but Andrea Stramaccioni knows how to surround the old man with talent and Milan will have to work to get back in the win column.  As it stands the teams sit tied on points at 18 both teams have seen a dip in form since the start of the season.

Filippo Inzaghi's tactics continue to be an issue and his reliance on both the 4-3-3 and Jeremy Menez will soon prove his undoing.  Udinese will play in a 4-3-1-2 so the midfield will be crowded with a lot of hard runners.  Milan on the other hand will be overrun in a potential 4-3-3 and will be lacking in technical players to get the ball forward.  If the same lineup as the Derby shows up Milan will struggle against a talented side capable of running right at the defense.

My vote is and always will be anything but the 4-3-3 as it has proved fruitless in the last five matches.  More importantly the struggles of Kiesuke Honda and Giacomo Bonaventura are being magnified as well.  I say play them both but in the 4-3-1-2, this way they can both get some cover from the likes of Michael Essien and Andrea Poli in the continued absence of Nigel De Jong and Riccardo Montolivo.  My lineup:

Abbiati; DeSciglio, Zapata, Rami, Armero; Poli, Essien, Bonaventura; Honda, Menez, SES

While I thought Rami did well at RB against Inter, he is a better CB and Phillipe Mexes scares me.  Pablo Armero is worth a run out if nothing more then to play his old team and match pace with pace.  Menez and SES together up top will keep Udinese's defense guessing as without a point reference player both strikers can alternate and play first and second striker.  Granted SES lacks the physical presence to even attempt but the mere thought and feign should weary Udine's defense.

I am never a big believer in the must win match, as it puts unneeded pressure on the squad but few moments need a win more than this at Milan!