The long-awaited derby between Inter and AC Milan will take place tomorrow evening (Sunday), with both sides looking to grab an important win in front of a sold-out San Siro. However, as always in this fixture, it’s a game in itself and you can’t rely too much on form.
After a struggling start to the year, drawing three consecutive league games, Inter bounced back with a confident win away at Udinese last weekend. Romelu Lukaku got on the scoresheet twice, which certainly bodes well for tomorrow’s clash as Lautaro Martinez is still suspended.
Milan, on the other hand, failed to grab all three points at the weekend after winning three consecutive league games. Despite several chances, having found the equaliser through Hakan Calhanoglu, the Rossoneri couldn’t find the back of the net once more and the game against Verona finished 1-1.
At the start of the week, there were doubts about Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s availability for this game. However, the 38-year-old carried out a personalized program this week and will thus be ready from the first minute tomorrow. Certainly, his presence will be important for Stefano Pioli’s men, especially in the derby.
Speaking of Pioli, the manager could switch formations, adapting his system to the opponent. Instead of the 4-4-2, as reported by Sky Italia, he could use a 4-4-1-1 to add numerical stability to the midfield. Since Inter play with a five-man midfield, that could indeed be wise.
According to the same report, Antonio Conte will also change his formation, adapting to the arrival of Christian Eriksen (as well as Lautaro’s absence). The Danish midfielder should start behind Lukaku, with the Nerazzurri using a 3-5-1-1. In goal, Daniele Padelli is expected to replace the injured Samir Handanovic.
In addition to the Slovenian goalkeeper, Inter will also have to do without the likes of Alessandro Bastoni, Lautaro and Roberto Gagliardini. As for Milan, Rade Krunic is the only one on the sidelines, excluding Leo Duarte who is recovering from a long-term injury.
Based on the last five meetings, Inter hold an advantage. Then again, even though the last three games have ended in defeat for Milan, you simply never know how the derby will pan out. With Ibrahimovic on the pitch, the Rossoneri will be even hungrier for revenge. Take a look at the top five facts and stats below.
- Inter have won the last three Milan derbies in Serie A; the last time the Nerazzurri won four games in a row against AC Milan in the top-flight was back in 1983.
- Inter are unbeaten in their last eight home derbies in Serie A; they have had a better run only twice in the top-flight vs AC Milan at home.
- Milan have lost only two of the 14 Serie A derbies played in February (in 2009 and 1962) – four wins and eight draws, including the most recent one in 2013 (1-1).
- Inter begin this matchday with 19 points more than AC Milan in the table (51 vs 32); however, only Lazio (14), Juventus and Verona (both 12) have picked up more points than AC Milan (11) in the 2020 calendar year.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic has scored five goals in seven appearances against Inter in Serie A, including his last brace in the competition (back in May 2012).
As mentioned, it’s a very hard game to call. Judging by recent form, it will be a close affair, although Inter are ahead of their city rivals on most fronts. The first goal will likely be crucial for the outcome of the game, although I believe that both sides will get on the scoresheet. My heart says Milan, but Inter remain the favourites.
Inter 2-1 Milan