AC Milan vs Inter Milan UCL preview
These are the golden days of Serie A. AS Roma are in the Europa League final a year after winning the Conference League, Fiorentina are contesting the Conference League semifinals, and Milan clubs are fighting to reach the Champions League final like the old days.
Read now: Milan lost the first leg 0-2 and have it all to do in the second. Here’s the Inter Milan vs AC Milan Champions League second-leg preview
It’s AC Milan vs Inter in the UEFA Champions League semifinal as AC Milan are hosts for the first leg. For both clubs, this is the farthest they’ve been in the competition in years. After a long time away from the top, the two clubs have been at each other’s throats competitively for a while now.
When Inter won the Serie A in the 2020/21 season, Milan came second. The reverse happened the next year when AC Milan toppled Inter. Even this season, when Napoli have won the Serie A, they are in a direct fight to secure a Champions League place next season.
Therefore, this Champions League semifinal promises to be an exciting clash between two exciting teams with a glittering history in the competition. Here’s the Milan vs Inter preview of the first leg of the UCL semifinal-
AC Milan vs Inter Milan lineups
AC Milan predicted lineup
AC Milan have a clean slate of players to choose from as veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic is the only absentee.
Stefano Piolo has rotated his squad this season as 16 players have played more than 1000 minutes in Serie A alone. Milan have a deep squad with strength in depth in multiple positions.
Still, they have some undisputed first-choice players who are guaranteed to make an appearance in this marquee fixture barring any late injury worries.
In defence, the CB duo of Fikayo Tomori and Pierre Kalulu is one. Goalkeeper Mike Maignan is another. The Rossoneri’s success has been built on this axis and they look set to continue against their archrivals as well.
Either side of them will be Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez. The latter, in particular, has developed into one of the best left-backs in the world and Inter will be wary of his attacking thrust.
Sandro Tonali will man the midfield as he has found his footing in Milan after struggles in the first season. Two goals and six assists in 30 league appearances speak of a player who is getting increasingly comfortable in the “Regista” role a la Andrea Pirlo. Alongside Tonali should be the more defensive-minded Rade Krunic instead of Ismael Bennacer.
Olivier Giroud will lead the line, being supported by Milan’s talisman this season, Rafael Leao. Bennacer in the No 10 role and Junior Messias on the right should round up the attack.
Predicted AC Milan lineup: Maignan, Calabria, Tomori, Kalulu, Hernandez, Krunic, Tonali, Messias, Bennacer, Leao, Giroud
Inter Milan predicted lineup
Inter Milan are also close to full strength as they have only two major injuries- PSG-bound Milan Skriniar will miss out due to a Lumbar Vertebra fracture, and Robin Gosens will be unavailable due to a shoulder injury.
Andre Onana will continue in goal having seized the first-choice spot from long-time serving Samir Handanovic. Ahead of him in defence will be the troika of Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni, and Stefan de Vrij. Matteo Darmian is unlikely to get a start due to Rafael Leao attacking that side with his pace and trickery.
Federico Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries will be the wingbacks who will have the responsibility of contributing to both sides of the game. Dimarco, in particular, is coming off a goalscoring performance in the last fixture against AS Roma.
The midfield three should be Marcelo Brozovic, flanked by set-piece specialist Hakan Calhanoglu and the imperious Nicolo Barella.
The “Lu-La” partnership should resume duties up front as Lautaro Martinez looks set for a recall to the first team after being on the bench against AS Roma. Romelu Lukaku scored against AS Roma and will look to continue that streak here before the prospect of going back to Chelsea at the end of the season comes into focus.
Predicted Inter lineup: Onana, De Vrij, Bastoni, Acerbi, Dumfries, Dimarco, Brozovic, Barella, Calhanoglu, Martinez, Lukaku
AC Milan vs Inter Milan prediction
This promises to be a closely fought game between two evenly-matched sides. Both clubs even share the same stadium, the iconic San Siro, so the home advantage will also be minuscule.
Furthermore, both clubs are coming off massive wins in Serie A so they are riding high on momentum. A moment of magic or a howler from one side could decide the fate of this one. Having said that, AC Milan looked very impressive as they brushed aside Serie A winners Napoli in the quarterfinals.
Overall, AC Milan have looked more comfortable when the Champions League anthem rings. Expect them to get one over their rivals, keeping a clean sheet in the process in a low-scoring game.
FootTheBall predicts AC Milan 1-0 Inter Milan.