Parma (4-3-3): Sepe; Conti, Bani, Gagliolo, Pezzella; Kucka, Kurtic, Hernani; Man, Pellé, Gervinho. Herds D’Aversa.
Milan (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Dalor, Kjaer, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic. Herds Pioli.
Referee: Maresca
Tv: 6pm Sky 202

Win to grow, grow to win. It’s the new football, baby: the system is circular, whoever doesn’t invoice is lost. The double entry rule: whoever does not win, loses twice. Especially these days, with the Covid crisis that tackles the already complicated accounts of Italian clubs and beyond, struggling with scenarios that are not at all encouraging. Deloitte estimates that Europe’s top 20 clubs will collectively lose over two billion euros by the end of this season. And the truth is that they still do well, because they still have a lot of turnover. The worst troubles are faced by others, those who have been tightening their belts for years to make ends meet. This is why the Champions League is for many, indeed for everyone, more than a goal: it is a mission.

The Milan has indeed fifty millions of very good reasons – as well as entering the groups of the great cup – to resume already Saturday evening in Parma that journey interrupted for the umpteenth time last Saturday at home with Sampdoria: that draw in comeback, more like a defeat for the effects on the standings, did badly, very badly. The gold rush of the big cup is a wild bunch: six teams from second to seventh place squeezed in 9 points. From Milan to Rome no one can afford to give up: these last nine days will be a free-for-all.

With Romagnoli still out of action, the 23-year-old will also start tonight in Parma, where AC Milan will face a more delicate match than the table suggests. D’Aversa’s team, next to last, is in dire need of saving points. On his side, the Devil boasts a championship pace away from home, 12 wins out of 14, but Pioli – who was born there in Parma – knows very well that the risk of a trap exists: «We want the Champions League, we have to close at 80 points». Back available after 50 days too Mandzukic, who has played 158 minutes (badly) so far: will start from the bench. There in front it will touch as usual a Ibrahimovic, disappointing like all the others with Sampdoria: even the leader this time has something to be forgiven, let’s see what happens.

April 9, 2021 (change April 9, 2021 | 23:52)

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