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Parma-Milan Preview: The Land of Ham and Cheese

There is a tiny little Italian deli just a few blocks from here. The owner is a Juventino, actually, but I forgive him because he supplies me with all sorts of delicious imported Italian food products. One of my favorite treats is to go for sandwiches, they make this amazing Prosciutto sandwich with plenty of delicious Parma prosciutto, fresh mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes on this hearty Italian-style bread. I eat these sandwiches as often as possible, but I make it a point to eat them on the days that we face Parma. Parma is where the best prosciutto is made, and it’s one time that I truly feel like I can almost devour the enemy. So you can guess what I’ll be having for lunch tomorrow.

What is he doing wearing that Parma training jersey?

Former Milan midfielder Roberto Donadoni is now facing his old club as the manager of the Gialloblu. So far this season, Parma have gone L-W-L-D-D, but don’t let that record fool you, they’ve already faced Juventus, Napoli, and Fiorentina in those fixtures. So now they are probably looking at us like I look at my sandwiches - hungry.

Against Genoa midweek, Donadoni lined up Mirante; Paletta, Lucarelli, Zaccardo; Galloppa, Parolo, Valdes, Gobbi, Acquah; Belfodil, and Amauri. Zaccardo is reportedly doubtful, as are subs Biabiany and Sansone. Parma’s website also noted that Palladino, Santacroce, and Balfodil had undergone physical therapy yesterday, so they may be questionable as well. Amauri probably still wants to go back to Juventus, so he’ll make a special point to score against us, just like he did last season when he was at Fiorentina.

Let's hope Gobbi doesn't live up to his namesake!

Despite being on the upswing, Milan face a tough match. Whatever we’ve improved since the Atalanta match, we need to improve still more to be able to win this one. Especially since we’re traveling to the land of ham and cheese and playing in their house. I am hoping that Allegri’s time in the box on Wednesday fired him up to fire the team up and put out his best lineup.

In light of not fixing what is broken, I would hope he makes only minimal changes to the lineup. The most telling thing will be if he opts to put Boateng back into the lineup after serving his suspension, or Zapata, for that matter. I would hope for maybe an Abbiati; Abate, Bonera, Mexes, De Sciglio; Montolivo, De Jong, Nocerino; Urby, Pazzini, El Shaarawy lineup. But we’ll see what Allegri decided. Sometimes seeing the game from further away is a blessing.

No room for Bojan?

The boys will have an epic battle on their hands, at the level we have been playing, I would rate Parma maybe a little above us. And playing away can be tricky, too. I can only hope that enough Milan fans are willing to travel to Parma and support them, but with the level of support they’ve been getting, I won’t hold my breath. They will need all of the conviction and focus that they have been showing and then some, so let’s hope that the taste of victory makes them even more hungry. Because from my vantage point, sandwiches from the land of ham and cheese taste ever so much better when served with a victory.

This post inspired by the music of Madness

Parma vs. Milan
Saturday, September 29, 2012 • 18:00 CEST (12noon EDT)
This match is being broadcast live on RAI in the U.S.
(it will be broadcast later on BeIN Sport)
Links for streams will be posted before the match