Another addition of the Milan derby takes place on Saturday as Inter Milan welcome AC Milan. The two Italian giants battle in the middle of a Scudetto race as well as Serie A’s tight race for the top four. Inter enter the match-up with the hot hand, whereas Milan have seen struggles recently and failed to make any upgrades during the winter transfer window. With that being said, these are the season-defining matches.
Milan Derby: Inter Milan v AC Milan
Milan’s last three matches have been full of mixed emotions. In the Coppa Italia Round of 16, they pummeled Genoa by a score of 3-1. The next match was a league match against Spezia, a team that hadn’t beaten Milan for a century. That all changed, as Spezia left with a 2-1 victory. The match was filled with controversy, including a suspension for the referee following the match, but the result doesn’t change. Milan’s last match was a goalless draw against Juventus,
Inter tied with a feisty Atalanta squad three weeks ago. Following that, they beat Empoli 3-2 in the Coppa Italia Round of 16. Finally, they came back from behind to beat Venezia 2-1 before the break. The results may not be overly dominant, but Inter continue to find a way to get points. That’s what championship-worthy teams do.
I Nerazzurri are first in the Serie A table. They have 53 points from 22 matches. They also have a game in hand over Milan.
The Rossoneri are third in the table. They have 49 points from 23 matches. Milan have the same number of points as second-placed Napoli, but Napoli holds the head-to-head advantage.
It’s important to note that Inter has won five of the last Milan derby matches. The last meeting in November ended in a draw.
Inter are heading into this match relatively healthy. Star names such as Edin Dzeko, Lautaro Martinez, Hakan Calhanoglu, Milan Skriniar, Ivan Perisic, and others should all start the match.
The main debate for Inter will come on the right side. The team will have to choose between Matteo Darmian and Denzel Dumfries. Darmian started in the last match-up.
Inter will most likely run with a 3-5-2 formation and feature a line-up similar, or identical, to the one they last used against Venezia.
Milan will. feature their typical 4-2-3-1 formation. There are plenty of questions surrounding the line-up, however.
First of all, Fikayo Tomori is likely to be a matchday decision. He’s been sidelined for a month, and Milan absolutely needs him against Inter’s potent attack. The centre-back duo of Alessio Romagnoli and Pierre Kalulu held Juventus at bay in the last match, but Inter have scored 19 more goals than Juventus this season. Clearly, their attack is a lot more dangerous.
Franck Kessie returns from the African Cup of Nations as well. His presence is massive for Milan and he’ll make his long-awaited return to the starting line-up.
Lastly, Milan’s attack is finally looking healthy again. It’s time for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Ante Rebic, and Rafael Leao to start together.