How AC Milan Will Line Up Against Chievo

Matteo Bonetti@@TheCalcioGuyContributor INovember 9, 2013

MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 30:  Kaka of AC Milan (C) celebrates scoring the first goal during the Serie A match between AC Milan and SS Lazio  at San Siro Stadium on October 30, 2013 in Milan, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

A.C. Milan take on Chievo Verona Sunday morning in a game that could give an indication of how Milan's season will pan out, after an abysmal start.

Mario Balotelli won't play due to suspension
Mario Balotelli won't play due to suspensionClaudio Villa/Getty Images

Massimiliano Allegri has the unenviable task of taking Milan from the bottom half of the table to a spot guaranteeing European contention.

Let's take a look at the side that's expected to line up against bottom-of-the-table Chievo.

Christian Abbiati returns to domestic action after an injury which let young Brazilian goalkeeper Gabriel get a few starts under his belt. 

Philippe Mexes is back from his four-match ban, picked up for hitting Giorgio Chiellini in the face. He is a welcome addition to a decimated back-line desperate for depth. 

Philippe Mexes will return to the defense after serving a four match suspension
Philippe Mexes will return to the defense after serving a four match suspensionClaudio Villa/Getty Images

Alongside Mexes, expect the usual suspects of Christian Zapata and Ignazio Abate to get the nod. It seems that Allegri has chosen to go with Urby Emanuelson at left-back, taking the position of the maligned Kevin Constant.

Emanuelson gives a bit more going forward than Constant, and has generally not disappointed in his time with the club in a multitude of positions.

The midfield contains the usual trio of Nigel De Jong, Riccardo Montolivo, and Sulley Muntari. Against Chievo, expect Montolivo to take a more trequartista-like position in the midfield, as Milan is expected to hold a majority of the possession.

While the Verona-based side is struggling in the table, they're hardly a pushover, and have players like Alberto Paloschi who are capable goalscorers. With this in mind, it'll be interesting to see if Allegri tells De Jong to take a more central defensive position, making the formation a 3-5-2 temporarily with Abate and Emanuelson pushing up the flanks.

Up front, Alessandro Matri will lead the front line as Mario Balotelli is unsurprisingly out due to suspension, while Valter Birsa and Kaka are expected to provide the creative spark around him.