The stage is set for the Milan derby
On Sunday night, Stadio Guiseppe Meazza or San Siro hosts yet another Derby Della Madonnina as struggling AC Milan visit Inter in Matchday 21 of Serie A.
Inter Milan have had a fair run of results in recent weeks and it seems like Inzaghi has finally pulled together his squad which looked a bit out of sorts at the beginning of the campaign. Getting the better of their city rivals AC Milan at Riyadh in the Supercoppa Italiana final just two weeks ago, they will now look to further cement their place as runners-up behind league leaders Napoli in Serie A.
Although the hopes of another Scudetto might have diminished for them, they are just two points ahead of their arch-rivals AC Milan who have dropped down to 5th in the whisker of an eye. After a shocking defeat at home against mid-table Empoli at home in Serie A. Inter have bounced back and claimed back-to-back victories with a 1-2 away victory at Cremonese and a 1-0 victory against Atalanta courtesy of a Matteo Darmian goal in Coppa Italia Quarterfinal. Also, they have been rock solid in defence and have shipped in only five goals at home this season (a feat only matched by AS Roma this campaign) which shows their prowess in that part of the field.
Inter Milan form (all competition): W-W-L-W-W
AC Milan form (all competition): L-L-L-D-L
There is an air of uncertainty in the AC Milan camp as they have just not been getting along in their gears since the turn of this year. A Round of 16 exits against Torino in the Coppa Italia. Getting humiliated by arch-rivals Inter Milan by 3-0 in the Supercoppa Italiana final, and consecutive losses against Lazio and Sassuolo in Serie A has diminished their chances of domestic silverware this time around.
Although Pioli’s men can take hope from the fact that Milan have won their last two Serie A derbies against the Nerazzurri, and could win three in a row for the first time since between November 2002 and February 2004 (four in a row). But their defence has been too unstable and the likes of Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko will be gunning to face such an opponent in dire straits. Lazio netted four past The Rossoneri in the Serie A while things went downhill against Sassuolo as they shipped in 5 goals to succumb to a 5-2 defeat at San Siro the last time they had a run out in the Serie A.
Sunday; 05-02-2023; 07:45 pm (GMT)
Monday, 06-02-2023, 01:15 am (IST)
Player to watch
Lautaro is proven as both a striker and a number 10. If he favours his right foot he remains versatile and quick, and he is particularly impressive when attempting to control possession with little time or space. Also. he has been in form this season and has scored 14 goals across all competitions and has 7 assists in his name out of 29 appearances for The Nerrazzurri.
He is a team player, a selfless player who sticks to the gameplan, allows others to succeed and in turn they allow him to do what he is good at. He frees them up to be able to deliver the kind of balls he wants and expects to receive. Also, Giroud understands his role and he thrives off it. He has 10 goals and 6 assists in his name already this campaign for The Rossoneri.
- The Rossoneri have not lost more top flight matches against any other team than Inter Milan. (L67, level with Juventus)
- After their 3-2 victory in the reverse fixture, Milan could win both of their Serie A meetings against Inter in a season for the first time since the 2010-11 campaign under Massimiliano Allegri.
- Only Napoli (28 points) have gained more points at home in Serie A this season than Inter Milan (24 points in 10 games).
Injury and team news
Marcelo Brozovic is still sidelined due to a calf injury and is expected to return this week but it is highly unlikely that Inzaghi will be risking him at this point of the season. Milan Skriniar was left out of the squad against Sassuolo after his transfer talks to PSG was confirmed and it looks like the defender might have just fallen out of favour in this team. Darmian extended his contract until 2024 which guarantees him a place in the starting line up and he has been in a fine goal scoring form too. Also, Andre Onana continues to remain in goal as Samir Handanovic has a muscle injury and his return date is unknown.
AC Milan have had to make quite a few shuffles in the recent weeks with their defence being of the ultimate concern. Simon Kjaer has looked a bit leggy in the recent weeks which suggests that Gabbia will take his place while Fikayo Tomori is still out with a hip injury. Also, Ignacio Bennacer will be a major miss in the midfield as he suffered a biceps femoral muscle injury which could keep him sidelined for weeks. Finally, Alessandro Florenzi (Hamstring), Mike Maignan (disrupted calf muscle), Serginho Dest (muscular problems) and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (knee surgery) will all stay out of this fixture.
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Head-to-Head stats in Serie A
Inter Milan: 67
AC Milan: 54
Inter Milan predicted lineup (3-5-2):
Onana: Darmian, Acerbi, Stefan De Vrij: Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco: Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez
AC Milan predicted lineup (4-2-3-1):
Tatarusanu: Calabria, Kalulu, Gabbia, Theo Hernandez: Krunic, Tonali: De Ketelaere, Saelemakers, Leao: Giroud
Inter Milan have had a better run of form in the past few weeks which gives them an added advantage over their opponents but we have to also keep in mind the recent disappointments at San Siro for the Nerrazzurri against AC Milan. Although it is very difficult to call in what is going to happen in one of the oldest derbies in the world, we are just giving Inter a slight edge ahead in this game given the recent run of events in Serie A and all the injury concerns for Pioli’s men.
Prediction: Inter Milan 1-2 AC Milan.
USA- CBS Sports.
UK- BT Sport.
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