Inter Milan vs AC Milan: Serie A: Preview and Prediction
This is one hell of a weekend as Serie A will witness its first Derby della Madonnina of the season as Inter takes on AC Milan on Saturday night.
Inter had a decent first season under Antonio Conte as they were always on the hunt for the top spot but couldn’t hold on to it for a long time.
However, Inter Milan did finish 16 points ahead of their eternal enemy but are still not considered as the favorites in the derby. Antonio Conte’s side are currently struggling to get completely free of COVID-19, while the Rossoneri are in the middle of a 19-game unbeaten run and are yet to taste defeat post-lockdown.
All of it has been due to the immediate effect caused by Stefano Pioli’s tactics and the arrival of Zlatan Ibrahimovic as AC Milan were in one of their worst phases in its history.
Head to Head Stats:
Total matches: 296
Most wins: Milan (112)
Top scorer- Andriy Shevchenko (14)
Largest victory: Inter 0-6 Milan (2001)
Internazionale were one of the most elite sides in the Serie A last season at least defensively. However, this season has rather seen a more leaky backline.
Inter conceded their sixth goal last season in their eighth game of the season. However, it took them only three games this term to reach the tally.
A lot of players have been missing out due to constraints caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. The Nerazzurri thus, are left with no option but to play with the players available.
On the contrary, Milan have been super solid at the back and are yet to concede a goal at this stage.
Inter Milan have won three out of their last five games in all competition, drawing one and losing one to Sevilla in the Europa League final. AC Milan on the other hand, have won all five of their recent games in all competitions.
Inter Milan have lost numerous players to COVID-19 and Ashley Young was their most recent addition to their COVID-19 list. He was the sixth and contracted the virus joining the likes of Ionut Radu, Milan Skriniar, Roberto Gagliardini, Radja Nainggolan, and Alessandro Bastoni.
Matias Vecino is still not fit to make an appearance this season as a result of a knee injury, while midfielder Stefano Sensi is suspended. The Milan rivals have yet another similarity and that is the coronavirus concerns.
Matteo Gabbia and Leo Duarte are both sidelined as they contracted the virus while defenders Andrea Conti and Mateo Musacchio may make an appearance after missing out due to knee and ankle injuries respectively.
Skipper Alessio Romagnoli is a doubt too due to fitness concerns and that will lead to a huge shortage for Pioli’s side at the back. Last season’s wonder and one of the most important reasons for AC Milan’s spectacular run, Ante Rebic is a doubt too after sitting out the international break with a dislocated elbow. He may or may not feature.
Stefan de Vrij vs Zlatan Ibrahimovic
De Vrij has played two matches in the Serie A so far and has been decent despite Inter’s defensive struggles. He has a tackle success of 100% while his passing has been 94% accurate too.
He has been strong with his clearances and interceptions too. However, this week he will be against Zlatan Ibrahimovic who has completely reformed the image of the Rossoneri since his arrival.
Zlatan has been a huge force in getting Milan ahead in the table and also in terms of their mentality.
With a new season underway, Pioli would want to extend the run as much as he can and a win against Inter will be an enormous one.
Zlatan has scored 2 goals, a crucial brace in the only game he played against Bologna. He will be looking forward to staying fit and contest in as many games he can as his presence itself strengthens the squad, both physically and mentally.
The battle between the two will be a very physical one as Zlatan barely permits any defender to stay around him for a long time.
Achraf Hakimi vs Franck Kessie
The ex-Real Madrid player has settled well in Antonio Conte’s system, having played in a similar one at Borussia Dortmund. However, here the league is more competitive but Hakimi has the license to bomb forward as much as he can.
That attitude of his has led to him firing a goal and setting up in the three games he’s played in. He has 107 accurate passes to his name and he will surely try to cause trouble to Franck Kessie, another defensive midfielder who has been phenomenal.
Kessie has a goal and an assist to his yet in three games but his passing skills are exquisite while his defending mitigates a humongous amount of load from the AC Milan backline. Kessie has been fundamental in Pioli’s squad and his battle with Achraf Hakimi is surely going to be an interesting one.
The derby is expected to be very physical and aggressive despite the coronavirus concerns. Both the teams will be up for the three points as the race for the Scudetto has already begun and neither team would want to drop points so early in the league.
Conte will be setting his team in a usual 3-5-2 set up while it will be interesting to see how Pioli decides to approach this game. The game is expected to be tight but there are no favorites. However, the Rossoneri will have an edge over their city rivals as they aspire to make it a 20-game unbeaten run.
Score Prediction: Inter 1-2 AC Milan