Legendary former Inter defender Beppe Bergomi expects that the Coppa Italia clash between the Nerazzurri and AC Milan on Tuesday will also have major ramifications for the league.
Speaking to Milan-based newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport in an interview published in today’s print edition, Bergomi gave his thoughts on the significance of the Milan derby clash including for the Serie A title race.
Inter and Milan both have everything to play for in the Coppa Italia, with the tie finely balanced after a 0-0 draw in the first leg played last month.
Both teams will feel that they have a very good chance of earning a spot in the final of the competition, and the situation looks similarly open to both sides in the chase for the Scudetto.
The Nerazzurri have a slight advantage in that they’ll be a point ahead if they win their game in hand against Bologna, but the Rossoneri are well-positioned to take advantage of any slip-ups.
For Bergomi, the dynamic of the incredibly close title race will also be heavily affected by the outcome of the Coppa Italia semi-final.
“It’s definitely worth more,” he said of the semi-final clash, “it will influence the end of the league season in terms of momentum,:
“Inter have faced three key matches in the league so far,” he went on, “the mockery against Lazio from which they recovered well, the derby in which they played well before Giroud’s brace which had a major aftermath for them, and the undeserved victory against Juve that changed everything again.”
“This Tuesday is also a match that will set the tone,” he predicted. “In the meantime, it seems that at Inter everything has fallen back into place, but I’d like to see them tested more to be sure.”
Bergomi explained that “They’ve come back to life, but they’re not the Inter of November and December yet. Compared to then, something is missing.”
He gave the view that “It’s been a very mentally-focused season, based on a subtle psychological balance that often changes.”
“In terms of the head, the derby is decisive,” he suggested, “defeat can cause a psychological backlash from which a team will not easily recover.”