With Inter holding onto second place in the table, they look to take out their city rivals on their way to continue challenging Juventus for the title. Match tomorrow Sunday at 20:45 CET
Of all the classic derbies around the world, there are none that can compare with the Derby della Madonnina. The Milan derby combines history, drama and uniquely a shared stadium, and when the two teams have something to fight for, as is the case this week, it also comes with very high stakes.
Inter hope that their win last week against Udinese will close their chapter of disappointing draws and that they step onto the pitch Sunday night full of fight and hunger. Antonio Conte has almost completely and quietly completely revolutionized the side over the last two transfer windows, both in terms of mentality and as a squad.
The expected central midfield module that starts the derby of Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic and Christian Eriksen is so far removed from any corresponding unit in the last decade.
While Stefano Sensi might have been Inter’s breakout star early this season, the dynamic midfielder will probably make way for the newcomer Eriksen who will slot in behind the two strikers and look to dictate attacking play, leaving Marcelo Brozovic to do some deep lying regista work.
Despite becoming ever more Ibra-centric in their tactics, Milan still do possess some alternative attacking threats, their in-form striker Ante Rebic (who will probably start on the bench) and the highly rated youngster Rafael Leao can be a source of trouble for the Nerazzurri back line.
Ex-Inter coach Stefano Pioli is known for his no frills 4-4-2 classic football ideology, and his sides are generally quite solid and capable; we saw that with his Lazio, Inter, Fiorentina and now Milan sides. Where the Italian tactician seems to fall short is seemingly a mirror of his demeanor, his quiet and unassuming persona appears incapable of firing up his sides to go that extra mile. This is possibly where Ibra’s role becomes more important than just his output on the pitch.
Milan’s squad across all lines is certainly not superior to Inter’s, however, as underdogs and with Ibrahimovic in the sqaud, they might go into the match with just enough of a chip on their shoulder. In which case, they most certainly have the team to be able to put the hosts in a spot or two of bother. Looking forward to one of recent times’ better derbies.
A real case of good news/bad news from Appiano this week. While Stefano Sensi and Borja Valero will both be available for selection, Samir Handanovic remains in doubt and Roberto Gagliardini will not have recovered. Compounded with the fact that both Lautaro Martinez and Alessandro Bastoni will be serving a suspension, Antonio Conte will have to think deeply about his selection and line-up.
Probable line-up (3-5-2): Handanovic (C); Godin, de Vrij, Skriniar; Young, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Moses; Sanchez, Lukaku.
Last Season: Inter 1 – 0 AC Milan.
Last 10 Head to Head: It seems like eons ago when Milan were able to scalp the Nerazzurri in the league, in fact, not since January of 2016 have Milan been able to take all three points from Inter. In the last ten matches, Inter have managed an impressive five wins to Milan’s solitary victory.
Keep an Eye on
Christian Eriksen: The last fair haired Northerner, Wesley Sneider, to play as trequartista was thrown to the wolves on his debut in the derby. Eriksen has had a couple of matches to get into the groove but will also make his Serie A home debut in the derby. Interisti will be hoping that the Dane will have a similar impact on the match as his predecessor did on his home debut.
Referee: Fabio Maresca.
Assistants: Giorgio Peretti and Giacomo Paganessi.
Fourth Official: Federico La Penna.
VAR: Paolo Mazzoleni and Giorgio Schenone.
Prediction & Concluding Remarks
Prediction & scorers: Inter 3-1 Milan. Eriksen, Candreva and Lukaku to score for Inter.
Concluding remarks: Expecting this match to be one of the more competitive derbies in the last decade or so. Milan are buoyed by the arrival of Ibrahimovic and Inter are in the hunt for silverware this season. Expect Milan to try and take the match to Inter but the stadium, the quality and the tactics to ultimately prevail.