The Return Of Ricky Monto

Claudio Villa

The circus that is AC Milan comes to town...

The three-ring circus that is AC Milan comes to town, complete with a CEO, Adriano Galliani, who looks like Uncle Fester from The Addams Family, one man freak-show Mario Balotelli, whose escapades have been chronicled widely across the planet, a whole host of players with hair styles that look like their fathers had relations with a cockatiel or a parrot and of course, Fiorentina's former Captain and clown Riccardo Montolivo, who is sure to have jeers and whistles raining down upon his head all match long.

Also coming off the injured list to be available for Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, is former Viola Giampaolo Pazzini. Pazzini is currently 5th on the Serie A scoring list, with 13 goals for the season, 9 goals behind league leader Edison Cavani and 3 goals behind teammate and second place holder Stephan El Shaarawy.

Viola star Stevan Jovetic has one less goal than Pazzini with 12 tallies, but is questionable for this match as he was injured in last week's loss in Sardinia. He is listed on the roster and his participation is a game time decision.

Unavailable for Milan is Captain Massimo Ambrosini, due to a knock, while the home town side will miss Gonzalo Rodriguez for yellow card accumulation, along with Mounir El Hamdaou and Matias Fernandez to injury.

Viola Coach Vincenzo Montella will have a choice of Stefan Savic or Marvin Commper to replace Rodriguez. Nenad Tomovic could also slot in there. Facundo Roncaglia will most likely play his right back position, while Manuel Pasqual will certainly play left back. The back line will be sorely pressed to keep the high flying Milan front line out of goal and Pasqual might have to play much further back than he's used to or Fiorentina could be in for a long day.

Luca Toni or Marcelo Larrando will look to fill in if Jovetic is unable to participate. Cuadrado looks to play right wing, while Adem Ljajic will likely start on the left side.

Returning to the Viola midfield will be this season's sensation, Borja Valero, who was sorely missed last week and Fiorentina fans will be looking for him, David Pizzaro and Alberto Aquilani to show Montolivo that his presence isn't missed in the slightest. Aquilani also will have something to prove as Milan choose not to pick him up in favor of Montolivo this summer.

Fiorentina will have to work very hard to find the net against this Milan defense as goalie Christian Abbiati and his defensive line have not allowed a goal in five straight Serie A Matches, although they did give up 4 goals to a little known squad out of Spain, called Barcelona or something like that.

Besides all the side attractions, this match is Big Top material as Milan come into town in third place with 57 points, while Fiorentina sit in 4th with 51 points. Milan's cross town rivals, Inter along with Roman squad Lazio sit only 1 point behind La Viola making a result in this match vital. Inter host Atalanta, while Lazio will play in a Darby with AS Roma.

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