The postponement of the Derby has allowed the Nerazzurri to go on a rampant run of eight goals scored and none conceded, while the Rossoneri were handed their first league loss in 2018 on Saturday, setting up a cracker of a match on Wednesday at 18:30CET
More than elation or excitement, the Nerazzurri faithful have felt relief as they watched their team’s performance in the previous two matches. At last, Luciano Spaletti has managed to allow his players to rediscover their early season form. Inter have not only scored plenty of goals and not conceded any, but have also found that relentless hunger that was so emblematic of that part of the season.
Critical to the turnaround has been the respective performances put in by the trio of Ivan Perisic, Marcelo Brozovic and Rafinha. The fact that Perisic has found his scoring and assisting boots has been a boon to the squad, but equally critical has been the fact that Brozovic and Rafinha have allowed the Nerazzurri to look dangerous and creative from the center.
There’s no doubt that Milan’s most dangerous threat comes from Suso; as the attacking midfielder cuts in from his right flank, he can deliver both great assists and spectacular curlers, and so it might be a stroke of good fortune that Danilo D’Ambrosio will be manning Inter’s left flank since he is probably the squad’s most defensively able full-back.
Roberto Gagliardini will have to face his demons in the match. It is clear to all that Gags’s distribution and ball possession are abysmal when pressured, and Milan’s Franck Kessie will make sure that the Italy international will not have a millisecond of time to think when on the ball. Spaletti must make sure that Gagliardini always has an easy option to pass to whenever in possession.
There’s no doubt that Inter possess the talent, the form and the desire to win the match, it will just be a matter of being able to bring it all together.
Spaletti has no injuries or suspensions to deal with when making his team selection. There’s a general consensus that Spaletti will deploy the same starting 11 that served him so well in the past few weeks, allowing them to further develop their understanding.
Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-2-3-1) Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Skriniar, Cancelo; Brozovic, Gagliardini; Perisic, Rafinha, Candreva; Icardi (C)
Last Season: Milan 2 – 2 Inter
Last 10 Head to Head: Draws have been the name of the game when both sides have met in recent history. Points have been shared in the last five of ten league encounters, however, Inter slightly edge Milan out in win with three to the Rossorneri’s two.
Keep an Eye on
Marcelo Brozovic: The unlikely star in the midfield of the last two matches was the hot/cold Croatian Brozo. There’s no doubt that Brozovic possesses the skills to own this position and transform into a world beater there, however, it’s always been a question of attitude and disposition on the pitch that has continually frustrated both coaches and fans. Many a time we’ve seen Brozovic dispossessed and miss a pass only to throw his arms up in the air in frustration rather than track back and fight for the ball. We saw none of that in the last two matches, it’s been all head down and business for 180 minutes, and if we see more of the same on Wednesday, it may be the difference maker for the match.
Referee: Marco Di Bello
Assistants: Costanzo, Preti
Fourth Official: Giacomelli
Additional Assistants: Valeri, Schenone
Prediction & Authors Note
Prediction & scorers: Milan 1-3 Inter with Icardi scoring a brace and Candreva finally scoring to kill the match off.
Author’s Note: Not much to say except all we can hope for is a performance worthy of Inter’s ambitions to reach the Champions League and a controversy-free match. Sempre, e solo, Forza Inter!