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Milan-Parma Preview: Anything Goes



Parma nearly didn’t make it back to Serie A this year. Then they did, but were going to have a five points deduction. Then that was overruled, too. Which is why they now sit in sixth place on the table only two points behind Milan. I mean why actually punish a storied club like Parma for matchfixing when they could be a storyline in Serie A? Because in Italy, anything goes.

Singlehandedly bringing legitimacy back to Parma

Parma have much history in Serie A, but less so in the last two decades. Their fall from grace was due to financial wrongdoings on the part of their owners. But after bankruptcy, they have impressively climbed their way back to the top division, even if they used a few illegal text messages to get to the highest rung. In all fairness, at least the player who was guilty of those texts received a two year ban, even if the club that benefitted from his texts went unpunished. Now that Parma are here, though, they are proving (hopefully legally) that they belong, and their position on the table shows they are a force to be reckoned with.

Parma’s current form in Serie A is L-L-D-W-W. That most recent win was their 2-1 win over Sassuolo last week. For that match, D’Aversa lined up a 4-3-3 of Sepe; Bastoni, Alves, Gagliolo, Iacoponi, Scozzarella, Barilla, Grassi, Inglese, THE Gervinho, and Siligardi. Also within the squad is one-photo Milan player Biabiany, for those who remember that picture. D’Aversa has the opposite problem of Gattuso, where his players are mostly returning from injuries, which should boost them even more.

Gattuso knows about gritting his teeth

Gattuso’s injury list… it feels like it’s just getting longer. Bonaventura, Biglia, and Caldara all out long-term. Musacchio and Romagnoli should be out another couple of weeks. Strinic is back in training and hopes to return within the next month. Bakayoko and Cutrone suffered knocks on Thursday, but are expecte to “grit their teeth” and play in this match. But there is some good news, too. Conti should be available for this match. We saw Calhanoglu play his best game in a while on Thursday, and he reported that finally, his foot is fine and he is 100% again. Rodriguez and Kessie were rested in Thursday because of long-running minor problems, hopefully that will help them, too. Castillejo will be available after his Europa League suspension, but Higuain will be serving the second of his two-match ban in Serie A.

Montolivo's improved his looks while sitting on the bench

Despite some positives, Milan are an injury-ravaged squad. Thursday, Gattuso showed some indications that he could be finally learning how to manage them, even if we don’t know if the problems causing the Injury Apocalypse are resolved yet. Well, and there’s the fact that he specifically mentioned possibly playing Montolivo tomorrow. But tomorrow is also a big test in that we are facing a rival who sit just behind us on the table. At the end of the match, that could be changed. Especially if we play as poorly as we did on Thursday. Because at the end of 90 minutes, anything goes.


This post inspired by Dramarama’s “Anything Anything”


Serie A Week 14
Milan vs. Parma
Sunday, December 2 • 12:30 CET (6:30am EST)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.