Milan veteran Nesta out until new year

AC Milan have suffered a blow ahead of the home game against Chievo with veteran defender Alessandro Nesta ruled out until the new year.

Nesta was hurt in Milan’s 3-2 midweek Champions League defeat to Barcelona.

Tests confirmed Nesta will be sidelined for at least a month with a muscle strain.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri, whose side have already progressed to the knockout round of the Champions League, will be hoping Nesta’s absence does not hinder his team as they look to extend a six-match unbeaten run in Serie A.

"We cannot fail in the league," Allegri said. "We have to be ready for Sunday’s game against Chievo, which will be a difficult one.

"We need to get as many points as possible in order to arrive into the Christmas break in the best position in the standings.”

The Rossoneri were held to a goalless draw by Fiorentina last weekend and lie third in the standings, one point behind leaders Juventus.

Milan, who have yet to lose at home in the league this season, will fancy their chances of taking maximum points against a Chievo side that has yet to beat the Rossoneri at the San Siro in Italy’s top flight.

However, the men from Verona go into this weekend’s match in fine form.

Chievo followed their 1-0 triumph over Fiorentina with a 2-1 victory at Catania last weekend.

The victory, Chievo’s first on their travels this season, lifted them into ninth.

"We are doing well and I’m happy with how my players are performing,” said Chievo coach Domenico Di Carlo, whose side also beat Modena 3-0 in midweek to reach the last 16 of the Coppa Italia.

"Now we have to recover because we face a very difficult game on Sunday and we will have to be at our best if we are to take a good result in Milan,” he said.

Sergio Pellissier will lead Chievo’s attack with the Italian striker looking to score his 100th goal for the club.