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Bragging Rights in Milan

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AC Milan vs Inter Milan preview

Spain has El Clasico, England has North-West Derby, Germany has Der Klassiker, and Italy has  Derby di Milano. Last season, the Serie A title race went down to the wire as AC Milan held their cool to win the title over their city rivals Inter Milan. Now they face again at the San Siro stadium for the bragging rights. 

Last season, the two teams established a duopoly as the other teams failed to match their intensity. However, this season, they face a challenge from a rejuvenated Juventus, Napoli and even Atalanta. While AC Milan remain undefeated, they are still a point behind Inter due to two draws.

Stefano Pioli’s men have blown hot and cold this season with two wins and two draws. Their last performance against Sassuolo left more to be desired as they struggled to a goalless draw. However, Pioli had rested several key players for the match, which means he will have a fully rested squad for the big game. 

Meanwhile, Inter Milan have racked up three wins so far. They started with two consecutive wins over Lecce and Spezia before losing to Lazio in a poor performance. However, they bounced straight back with a 3-1 win over Cremonese.

Like every season, Lautaro Martinez has been the leading man in the attack, while Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu have shared the creative responsibility. And with Milan Skriniar staying at the club, the defence is one of the best in Serie A.

AC Milan vs Inter Milan team news 

Stefano Pioli masterminded AC Milan’s title bid last season but will be without his best player. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who led the Milan frontline, is still recovering from his knee surgery and could be unavailable for months. In addition, midfielder Rade Krunic and winger Ante Rebic. To make matters worse, Alessandro Florenzi is also out with a muscular injury.

Sergio Dest was signed from FC Barcelona on loan on the deadline day but will not be able to feature in the match. The club will also hope Charles De Ketelaere hits the ground running as quickly as possible.

Predicted AC Milan Lineup:  Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Tomori, Hernandez; Bennacer, Tonali; De Ketelaere, Diaz, Leao; Giroud

Inter Milan, meanwhile, will be without Romelu Lukaku, who is still not fully fit to feature in the clash. However, in Edin Dzeko, the team has a quality player to partner Martinez up front. Media reports also stated that defender Alessandro Bastoni could return for the clash, significantly boosting their chances in the match.  

Henrikh Mkhitaryan still has to recover from his muscle injury. Apart from this, Inzaghi has a fully-fit squad to choose from. 

Predicted Inter Milan Lineup: Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Dimarco; Martinez, Dzeko

Gamechangers 

Without Zlatan Ibrahimovic, AC Milan’s attack looks less sharp. This was evident in their two draws, especially the one against Sassuolo. It means that Oliver Giroud will be tasked with leading the line. It also means that players such as Tonali, Rafael Leoa, and Junior Messias will have to share more attacking responsibility.

In defence, Davide Calabria will need to deliver good performance in the absence of Florenzi, while Theo Hernandez and Fikayo Tomori will be tasked with the leadership role. 

For Inzaghi, Lautaro Martinez like every season is providing goals for the Nerazzurri. The Argentine striker has scored three goals in four matches. Meanwhile, Nicolo Barella tops the league in the Expected Threat (xT) metric. Bastoni has also been impressive so has been Skriniar, who has completed the most passes. 

AC Milan vs Inter Milan prediction

Both clubs go into the match with only a point separating them in the league table. Usually, form does not play a significant role in games like this due to its fervent excitement. However, the players are generally more motivated to perform, and with last season’s intense title race, the clash has gotten more competitive. 

Inter Milan will be extra motivated, especially after losing the title last season. However, AC Milan have the home advantage and thus will get more seats for their fans which will help them. However, Inter Milan have a squad that can turn around any match no matter the opponent. FootTheBall predicts a 2-1 win for AC Milan.

 

Saumy Deepak Tripathi
A Bayern Munich fan who is deeply in love with football statistics. Has a soft spot for goalkeepers! (well only he knows why). You’ll find him vibing on 70’s classic songs and spends an abnormal amount of time cooking.

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