Inter’s former midfielder Luigi Di Biagio expects the Nerazzurri to strike a decisive blow in the Serie A title race by winning the Milan derby.
Inter and AC Milan are both competing for the Scudetto for the first time in many years, meaning Sunday’s fixture is perhaps the most important derby to have been played in the last 10 years.
Antonio Conte’s side are one point clear of the Rossoneri and will be eager to extend their gap at the top at San Siro.
“Finally the Scudetto is on the line in the derby,” Di Biagio remarked in an interview for Friday’s print edition of Tuttosport.
“At the beginning of the season I didn’t think AC Milan could do so well, I saw Inter being ahead.
“I think the Nerazzurri are still favourites but the Rossoneri remain a great team, we’ll see an excellent match.
“People always say ‘the season is long’, but if Inter were to win – perhaps by two goals – it would be very significant for the title race.
“It would be quite a statement.”
Di Biagio, the former coach of the Italian under 21 national team, then reminisced about some of the derbies he played in for Inter in the early 2000s.
“I certainly remember those games with pleasure thanks to the goals scored,” he recalled.
“But I must say that the 2002 derby, when we won 1-0 with a goal from Christian Vieri, deserves to be mentioned because of the importance of that specific match.
“We cared about it a lot, we wanted to win at all costs.”
The 49-year-old, who played for Inter between 1999 and 2003, then went on to name his best memory from his spell with the club, in which he made 163 appearances across all competitions.
“Perhaps my best memory was my very first match in a Nerazzurri shirt,” Di Biagio explained.
“I arrived in Milan on the Friday and then I made my debut on Sunday by playing about 20 minutes.
“I came on and with my first touch I played Vieri through who made it 3-0 against Hellas Verona.
“The whole stadium stood up and dedicated a song to me, and from there an incredible relationship was born with the Inter fans.
“It is something that I will always carry inside of me.”