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Under Pressure Inzaghi Searching For Only Third Win Of 2014 Against Chievo

Date Added: March 01, 2015 09:06:44 PM
Author: David
Category: Teams: UEFA: Italy: AC Milan
Better things were expected from AC Milan after Filippo Inzaghi assumed the role as the manager for the first time in his career. He was replacing Clarence Seedorf, who was a newbie himself, after a turbulent season in which Milan could only muster an eighth place finish. However, Inzaghi’s record at Milan over the last six months is not too different from the time of Seedorf. In fact, Milan are only one place worse off compared to Seedorf’s record with 14 matches left in the season. Milan are placed at a distant 33/1 for a top three finish.

Even if Champions League may look a distant possibility with Milan already 12 points behind the top three, but the possibility of finishing in the Europa League looks bright. Only six points separates AC Milan in the ninth place from Fiorentina in the fifth spot, which is the final Europa League qualification spot in Italy. Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi has made it clear since last season that the club needs to be in Europe, whether it is Champions League or Europa League, considering the prestige of the club.

The pressure on Inzaghi has lifted off slightly after a 2-0 win over Cesena. Admittedly, this was a victory against a team just one place above the bottom of the table, but it would give Milan a lot of confidence. This was a first win since the 3-1 home win over Parma. Inzaghi will be aware that this win could mean a lot, especially in terms of confidence. The fixture list has conveniently fallen for Milan in such a way that their next five matches could easily yield their more than 10 points. Only the away match against top three chasing Fiorentina looks difficult, while the rest are against teams closer to the drop or in the relegation zone.

Inzaghi demanded consistency after the team’s victory over Cesena. It remains to be seen if the team has heeded to his words when they take on Chievo this weekend. After managing back-to-back victories against Parma and Sampdoria, Chievo suffered a 3-0 defeat last weekend. Inzaghi may see this is a perfect opportunity to take on the team who are just four points outside the drop zone.

It is a commonly held belief that Inzaghi may not suffer the same fate as Seedorf, who was sacked after just six months into the job, since he gets along well with Berlusconi. There have been rumours that Berlusconi makes a lot of decisions – especially with regard to team selection. This was not the case with Seedorf, who wanted to be in charge as the manager of the team. Inzaghi has been more flexible with his powerful owner, but only time will tell if Berlusconi will remain patient even with such inconsistent results.

Apart from the indirect support provided by the owner, Inzaghi has also been able to get a lot of backing from the players. After selling a number of top individuals over the last few years, Milan have been heavily dependent on striker Stephan El Shaarawy. The Italian has scored just one goal in 15 appearances this season, but he has backed Inzaghi to deliver the results. He says that Inzaghi, whose only previous coaching experience was being in charge of the Milan youth team, needs more time to understand his players and get the best out of them.

Scoring goals has been the biggest problem for Milan with midfielder Jérémy Menez being the club’s top scorer in the league with 12 goals.

Milan are backed by Betfair at odds of 6/4 for a victory against Chievo away from home. The home team are expected to get three points at odds of 11/5. This is also the same odds offered by the bookmaker for a stalemate. Milan’s main competitors – Fiorentina and Inter Milan – are up against each other at the San Siro and Inzaghi will be hoping for a stalemate.

The win over Cesena was only the second victory of 2015 for Milan. If they carry on with this kind of form, it will not be long before the likes of Fiorentina and Sampdoria extend their advantage.
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