Palermo are showing signs they may tumble out of
the top four in Serie A with back-to-back draws leaving them just eight points
clear of resurgent AC Milan.
The Rossoneri have not lost since November 18 and kept up their Champions League
bid on Sunday with a late Massimo Ambrosini goal beating Sampdoria.
Ambrosini is the 14th Rossonero player to have scored in Serie A this campaign.
"I have seen a good display by my team," said coach Carlo Ancelotti. "It wasn't
easy to show such determination after our difficult week, following our
Champions League game in Glasgow and some of my players struggling with the flu."
The win saw Ancelotti's side collect their fourth triumph in a row and left
Milan trailing closely behind third-place Palermo with 13 games remaining.
But with just one point separating the Rossoneri from Lazio, who hold the last
Champions League qualifying spot, Milan will have an added motivation to win at
"Wednesday's game will determine whether we can point towards finishing third
this season," said AC Milan vice-president Adriano Galliani.
Milan have only lost once on the road this season and that was back in November,
when they lost 2-0 to Atalanta.
Opponents Palermo go into Wednesday's encounter desperate to recover their form.
The Sicilian outfit have only managed one win in their last six encounters and
have collected just one point in their last three games at home.
Francesco Guidolin's men are struggling to show the same determination they
displayed earlier this season.
Goalscoring is still proving a challenge for the Rossaneri - with only two goals
netted in their last three league games - and they will be keen to reverse the
trend in midweek.
Last weekend's 1-1 result at Atalanta was Palermo's second consecutive draw and
the outcome left the Sicilians trailing eight points behind second-placed Roma,
with their lead over Lazio reduced to seven points.
Club president Maurizio Zamparini has ordered his players not to speak to the
press in the run up to the game in a bid to help them fully focus on on-field
The good news for the hosts is that they welcome back captain Eugenio Corini and
striker David Di Michele, both of whom missed out on last weekend's game through
Guidolin is hoping Andrea Barzagli will pass a late fitness tests with Mattia
Cassani serving a one-match ban.
Barzagli is trying to shake off a muscular injury.
The visitors will not have defender Massimo Oddo available after he was sent off
against Sampdoria while striker Marco Borriello is also suspended.
Ancelotti is set to rest Ronaldo in view of Saturday's clash against Chievo and
will play with attacking duo Alberto Gilardino and Ricardo Oliveira.