Guidolin: Milan still a threat without Ibra
Udinese coach Francesco Guidolin has said that he expects a strong AC Milan despite I Rossoneri having to do without the team's leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic when the two sides meet on Saturday.
The Swedish striker was handed a three-match ban for violent conduct by the Italian league after being sent off for slapping Salvatore Aronica in an off-the-ball incident in last weekend's goalless result against Napoli.
"Ibrahimovic is a crucial player for Milan," Guidolin said. "But I am convinced the team has many resources to draw upon. Milan are packed with talent, they are the Italian champions and in terms of quality, they have the best side in Serie A. I'm sure they can push through any absence."
Ibrahimovic has scored 15 league goals so far, one less than Serie A's top scorer, Antonio Di Natale of Udinese. The Udine outfit, unbeaten at home this season, are third and three points behind second-placed Milan.
League leaders Juventus visit Bologna on Sunday holding a one-point advantage over Milan but with a game in hand. The Turin giants are unbeaten this season and head into the encounter on the back of Wednesday's 2-1 victory away to Milan in the semi-final first leg of the Coppa Italia.
An Udinese defeat would see Lazio leapfrog them into third provided the Romans beat Cesena. Last weekend's 4-0 defeat to Roma was Inter Milan's second loss in three games. I Nerazzurri host bottom side Novara on Sunday knowing that anything but a win could see them fall further down in the standings. Inter are fifth and one point clear of Roma, who visit Siena on Monday.
Palermo travel to Sardinia to face Cagliari on Saturday looking for their first win away from home this season. The Sicilians have taken just four points out of a possible 33 on the road.
Napoli square off against Chievo at the San Paolo stadium looking for their first win since January 8. Their poor run of form has seen the Naples outfit drop to seventh place. Sunday's 2-1 triumph at Chievo extended Parma's unbeaten run to four games. The Ducale club take on in-form Fiorentina at the Ennio Tardini stadium.
Fiorentina are in mid-table and have won their last two league games. Genoa will be without striker Alberto Gilardino for Sunday's game at Catania. Gilardino sustained a muscular injury in last weekend's 3-2 triumph over Udinese - Genoa's third win in four games.
Lecce have lost just once in five games and are in 18th place, three points below safety. I Salentini visit Atalanta on Sunday.