AC Milan host Chievo Verona in a crucial Serie A match on Sunday. Milan have made an underwhelming start to the season, despite their early season Champions League aspirations, and sit in 12th place on just nine points after six games.
Chievo Verona, meanwhile, are a club in crisis. The club were given a three point deduction earlier in the season, leaving them bottom of the league with a shocking -1 points tally.
AC Milan fans are staring yet another uneventful season in the face, so they will be desperate to get just their third win of the season.
AC Milan 3-2 Chievo Verona- December 2001
A season defining match in a golden-era of Italian football. Going into the game, Chievo were flying high in a surprising 2nd place, with AC Milan sitting three points behind them.
Milan took the lead early on thanks to a pin-point header from legendary Italian international Filippo Inzaghi.
However, Chievo equalised in the 26th minute through Massimo Marazzina. Just three minutes later, Chievo scored again, as Bernardo Corradi rocketed a header in the back of the net directly from a corner.
In the second half, a sprightly 24-year-old Andriy Shevchenko converted a controversial penalty to level the match 2-2. A few minutes later, the Ukrainian international scored again, ghosting in front of his defender and deftly heading the ball over the Chievo goalkeeper.
Milan won the match 3-2, going level on points with Chievo. Come May, I Rossoneri finished in 4th place scrapping into the Champions League, whereas Chievo finished one point behind Milan in 5th.
To make matters worse for Chievo, Carlo Ancelotti's Milan side went on to win the Champions League the season after.
Gonzalo Higuaín vs. Mattia Bani
Higuaín despite their poor early season form has enjoyed an impressive start to life at the San Siro. With two goals and an assist in his first four Serie A games this season, expect the Argentine to cause Chievo a myriad of problems this weekend.
Mattia Bani on the other hand is an up and coming centre-back. The Italian, like the rest of his team-mates, has had a tough start to the season, as I Gialloblu have conceded 16 goals in just seven matches, and if Higuaín is firing then that tally could be a whole lot more come Sunday.
But, should Bani and Chievo be able to shut out Higuaín then it could be the kick-starter for their season.
Left-back Andrea Conti is still recovering from a knee injury he sustained back in April. Other left-back Ivan Strinic is also still on the side-lines following his ongoing heart condition.
Italian international Riccardo Montolivo is still suffering from an injury he obtained at the start of the season, whilst centre-back Mattia Caldara is also likely to miss the Chievo match due to a muscular problem.
On the other hand, Chievo have been far luckier with their injuries this season. Only centre-back Nenad Tomovic is likely to miss the game with a tear in the abductor muscle. However, both Nicholas Frey and Antonio Cinelli are both suspended for the visit to the San Siro.
Milan (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Abate, Musacchio, Romagnoli, Laxalt; Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura; Suso, Higuaín, Calhanoglu.
Chievo (4-3-2-1): Sorrentino; Depaoli, Rossettini, Bani, Barba; Rigoni, Radovanovic, Hetemaj; Birsa, Leris; Stepinski.
Despite their poor form, the status and ability of AC Milan make them big favourites. Despite sitting in mid-table they still have various big name internationals such as Donnarumma and Higuaín.
Even with the fatigue of playing in the Europa League mid-week, the seven time European champions should still have enough to beat a side who are in minus points.
Predicted Scoreline: AC Milan 1-0 Chievo Verona