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Matchday XXXI: Milan v Chievo

Will Paloschi prove a catalyst or with the inconsistent Milan pull it together to make it two in a row?

Dino Panato

A season or two ago this was a surefire win in fact five of the last matches with Chievo have yield 4 wins and a draw. The reality is Milan are no longer "flat track" bullies, a statement once used in jest would now be a welcome sight. The point is this Milan is inconsistent and unpredictable and every match is an adventure.

The adventure used to come at the first whistle, whereas now under Seedorf the adventure starts a day early. Four points out of the last two matches does bring a sense of fleeting hope and the squad for Chievo has all the usual suspects. The adventure comes in the deployment! The single striker adventure continues; however, the reality for the 4-2-3-1 has not been a good one. Two goals midweek came not from the run of the play and previous match against Lazio was an own goal, albeit a deflection, instead of a flat out Sokratis. The balance is certainly improving but this roster does not allow for a give and take from defense to attack, it is more either defend or attack. The latter proving suicidal and Seedorf acknowledges that.

The rest becomes a debate for the masses. Does Essien play again despite a poor performance in his last time out? Does Muntari start? Do we finally see Poli in the double pivot? Honda at CAM? Taraabt was requested by Seedorf but the honeymoon is over as the love affair seems to have cooled and he is no longer a sure fire starter. He is one of the few live wires Milan has at their disposal and if he plays with Kaka and Honda it makes things a bit more challenging at the back. A back that continues to carousel with Mexes taking back his spot alongside Rami for better or worse. Zapata has been relegated to no man's land and Silvestre is a forgotten man. Injuries to Abate and DeSciglio makes the fullback spots a challenge so expect to Urby and Bonera on the flanks.

The squad is as follows:

Abbiati, Coppola, Gabriel, Bonera, Rami, Silvestre, Zaccardo, Zapata, Birsa, Emanuelson, Essien, De Jong, Honda, Kakà, Muntari, Poli, Saponara, Taarabt, Balotelli, Pazzini, Robinho.

Chievo come into the match as inconsistent as Milan and while Seedorf has been given the Europa ultimatum Corini has most likely been told he must remain in Serie A. A feat the Flying Donkeys have managed despite changes in Coaches and personnel. One player that has not change is Milan's former wonder kid Alberto Paloschi. Ten goals in 27 matches he continues to grow as well as prove durable, he has no regrets being away from Milan, a statement made much easier as they mire a few places above his current team in the table.

Will Paloschi prove a catalyst or with the inconsistent Milan pull it together to make it two in a row?