Serie A Preview: Milan v Verona
By Football News
Clarence Seedorf's first game in charge of Milan sees sixth-placed Verona visit San Siro on Sunday.
The former Netherlands international was confirmed on Thursday as the new first-team coach of the Italian giants.
Seedorf, who has penned a two-and-a-half year deal, can expect a rapturous reception from the Milan faithful, having spent a decade at the club during his illustrious playing career before joining Brazilian side Botafogo in 2012.
Milan turned to the 37-year-old former midfielder after sacking Massimiliano Allegri on the back of a 4-3 defeat at struggling Sassuolo last weekend.
Seedorf has no previous experience of coaching, as he only announced his decision to retire and end his spell at Botafogo earlier this week in order to succeed Allegri.
The Milan legend has been thrown in at the deep end, with the team 11th in Serie A and six points above the relegation zone.
Milan won two Serie A titles and were twice crowned European champions during Seedorf's playing days at the club, but he faces a major challenge to restore them to their former glories.
Seedorf watched from the stands as his new side beat Spezia in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday and is determined to hit the ground running.
He said: "I will do everything to take Milan back to the top of the world.
"I feel at home here and hope to contaminate the team with my great enthusiasm. I can’t wait to get started. We want to turn the situation around straight away to make the fans happy."
Keisuke Honda marked his first Milan start with a goal against Serie B side Spezia and Seedorf must decide whether to reward the Japan midfielder by keeping him in the first XI .
Honda may have to settle for a place among the substitutes, with Kaka set to return after being left on the bench in midweek.
Giampaolo Pazzini, another to score against Spezia after being handed a first start of the campaign, could also make way.
Verona have exceeded expectations on their return to the top flight, but boast only two league wins on the road this season.
A 3-0 defeat at home to Napoli last weekend ended a four-match unbeaten run for Andrea Mandorlini's side, who will be eager to spoil Seedorf's party on Sunday.