AC Milan vs Lazio: Preview and Prediction

Samuel DieudonneCorrespondent IJanuary 31, 2009

Sunday Evening, AC Milan will travel to the Stadio Olympico in Rome to take on European Hopefuls Lazio. Milan should approach the game with the Intention of continuing thier impressive form while attempting to challenge high flyers Inter and Juventus for the coveted Scudetto eluded from thier grasp since the 2003-04 Season.

Milan enter the game sitting in t,hird on 41 points in 21 games played. They will be looking to thier stars Kaka, Ronaldinho and most importantly Alexandre Pato, the young in form Brasilian striker has netted six times in his last eight  games.

But there's also Beckham who has found the net in two consecutive games since joining now to inspire the team and capitalise on Juve's recent slip-ups, take over the second slot in the table occupied by the Bianconeri who have 43 points in 22 games following thier 3-2 lost to Cagliari earlier today.

The Rossoneri will be hoping to cut the gap that stands between them and Inter's Mourinho a little bit with a convincing display tommorow. Captain Paolo Maldini is suspended for Milan on account of yellow cards. Ronaldinho is set to be handed a start after being left out of Carlo Ancelotti's plans in these last few games.

Milan have gattered seven points out of a possible nine in thier last three matchups which included a 1-0 victory over Fiorentina, a 4-1 thrumping of Bologna and the 1-1 draw againts Genoa in thier midweek match-up.

Milan's Probable Formation

 (4-3-2-1):Abbiati; Zambrotta, Favalli, Bonera, Jankulovski; Beckham, Pirlo, Ambrosini; Kakà, Ronaldinho; Pato

MILANELLO - These are the 21 players called-up by Carlo Ancelotti for tomorrow evening’s clash against Lazio: Abbiati, Dida, Donnarumma, Antonini, Bonera, Darmian, Favalli, Jankulovski, Mattioni, Senderos, Zambrotta, Ambrosini, Beckham, Emerson, Pirlo, Inzaghi, Kakà, Pato, Seedorf, Shevchenko, Ronaldinho.

Unavailable: Nesta, Gattuso, Kaladze, Borriello, Kalac, Cardacio.
Suspended: Flamini, Maldini.

On Lazio's Part this game couldn't come at a worst time, the team is in a slump and  finds itself sitting tenth in the table after a rather succesful and impressive start at the beginning of the season. Now Lazio finds its European Hopes hanging by a thread because of other sides like Roma, Genoa, Cagliari all in form and succesfully climbing up the table and preoccupying the European slots.

The team has only gannered 1 point out of a possible nine and its three last match ups which included a 1-1 draw againts Juventus, the 4-1 thrumping they recieved on the hands of Cagliari and a 3-1 lost againts Samdoria.

A victory is absolutely needed to at least hang on to thier European Ambitions, they will be looking to the ever present threat of Mauro Zarate who has experienced a lost of form of late, but the young sensational Argentine is very pacy, has pinpoint finishing and remains a huge threat. Him and Rocchi might cause a Maldini less Milan backline a lot of trouble tommorow.

Lazio's Probable Lineup.

(4-3-3): Muslera; De Silvestri, Siviglia, Cribari, Radu; Dabo, Ledesma, Meghni; Pandev, Zarate, Rocchi.

Players to Watch.

MILAN: Pato, a sensation this season in Serie A, the young striker has matured rather fast. his quick feet, and incredible pace is an an enormous torment to Serie A's defences. also With nine goals already to his name this season he is no slacker in front of goal. he will punish Lazio if given the chance.

David Beckham: The English man is proving that he is not in Milan simply for Marketing reasons, and is quickly making his presence felt with two consecutive goals in the league. he shows great commitment to the cause and has an incredible work rate on the pitch. Keep an eye on him with the Tug-of War between Milan and Galazy in regard to his future.

LAZIO: Mauro Zarate, that goal he scored againts Milan in September is engraved in my memory for some reason. just like Pato he is extremely talented and dangerous. For that reason alone he is my last player to watch tommorow.

Prediction: It will be close but at the End of the day Pato and Kaka will be to hard to handle for Lazio, 1-2 Milan.