Embattled Serie A duo Milan and Parma are both searching for a restorative win when they meet at the San Siro on Sunday.
Embattled Serie A duo Milan and Parma are both searching for a restorative win when they meet at San Siro on Sunday.
Milan's mid-season friendly victory over La Liga leaders Real Madrid proved to be a false dawn for boss Filippo Inzaghi, who has overseen three defeats and a draw since Serie A's resumption earlier this month.
Inzaghi was able to guide Milan to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia but Tuesday night's 1-0 defeat to 10-man Lazio means improving their current lowly standing of 11th over the remaining 18 league games is their sole focus this season.
The San Siro faithful will expect to see their team return to winning ways against Parma, who currently prop up the Serie A table and are 10 points from safety.
Andrea Costa scored the only goal to give the basement boys a 1-0 win over Fiorentina in their first game back after the mid-season break but four consecutive league defeats have followed.
Parma also suffered midweek cup heartache as Juventus' Alvaro Morata sunk them with an 89th-minute winner.
Such dismal runs mean growing scrutiny on Inzaghi and opposite number Roberto Donadoni but the former appears to have the backing of the Milan board following a busy week in the transfer market.
Roma striker Mattia Destro has moved to the San Siro on an initial loan deal with a view to a permanent move, while defender and fellow Italy international Salvatore Bocchetti has arrived from Spartak Moscow until the end of the season.
Both players could feature for Milan at the weekend alongside Keisuke Honda, who is back from international duty with Japan at the Asian Cup, although Inzaghi must wait on the fitness of defensive midfielder Nigel de Jong.
The Netherlands international returned to training this week following a hamstring problem but did not feature against Lazio.
De Jong was on target when Milan secured an incredible 5-4 victory at the Stadio Tardini in September.
Elsewhere, Philippe Mexes (suspension) and Stephan El Shaarawy (broken metatarsal) are confirmed absentees as Milan look to avoid a third consecutive reverse on home turf.
Parma's shot-shy attack have scored five times in their last 10 matches and they must do without Antonio Cassano, with the enigmatic forward threatening legal action after having his contract terminated.