The two Milanese sides, AC Milan and Inter Milan, face each other on Sunday in one of the biggest rivalries in Italian football and probably in the world, the Derby della Madonnina. The common home of these sides, San Siro, will host this game and Milan are the designated home side. The time for this kick-off is scheduled for 07:45 pm GMT on 4 March.
This prestigious derby between cross-town rivals is a perfect opportunity for both sides to strengthen their grip on a Champions League spot.
After 26 rounds of fixtures, Inter Milan are fourth with 51 points. A Champions League qualification was their initial pre-season goal which they seem to have respecting so far but looking back, Spalletti’s men will be disappointed in themselves. Inter Milan were Scudetto contenders just a couple months back but as every other past seasons, the Nerazzurri have collapsed in the second half of the season.
While around one half of Milan are furious on themselves, the other half will be rejoicing their sudden uprise on the league table. The Rossoneri have been resurrected under new manager Gattuso; they are unbeaten in 13 and last week’s win on penalties over Lazio was their sixth competitive clean sheet in a row.
Meanwhile, Milan President Li Yonghong has also arrived at Milan to watch the derby.
Milan are currently seventh in the league table with 44 points, seven behind the Nerazzurri. They have some tough fixtures coming up including the likes of Juventus and Napoli and given they succeeded on continuing their unbeaten run against these sides; we might as well get to see Gattuso’s men in the top four position.
Players To Watch
The Italian striker has been sublime under Gattuso, scoring five times and assisting one in his last eight games. The 20-year-old is one of the major reasons of Milan’s success lately.
Having already scored in the Coppa Italia clash with the Nerazzurri back in December 2017, the boy from Como will do everything to get his name on the scoresheet when these sides meet on Sunday.
The Argentine center-forward was heavily missed but is now back in the team after recovering from a muscular injury, sending Eder back to the bench. The 25-year-old scored a hat-trick in the reverse fixture of this league tie and will be desperate to add more goals to his tally to earn the crucial three points for the Nerazzurri.
The reverse fixture of this league tie was a memorable one for the Nerazzurri fans; it was a night to forget for the Rossoneri, however. Milan came from the back twice to cancel Icardi’s 28th and 63rd-minute goals, and it looked like they will escape the match with a hard-fought point, but Inter were awarded a late penalty, and the Argentine wrapped up the game with a calm penalty to take the game ball home.
Milan knocked Inter out of the league cup back in December. Cutrone scored in the 104th minute, as Milan qualified for the Semi-finals with a solid performance in the extra-time.
Gennaro Gattuso has a full squad at his disposal, and so does Inter boss Luciano Spalletti. Andrea Conti is back in training and is set to make the bench for this fixture.
Gagliardini and Vecino are most likely to get a start in the defensive midfield role, keeping Borja Valero out of the starting XI.
AC Milan vs Inter Milan Lineup (Predicted XI)
AC Milan Lineup (4-3-3)
Calabria (RB), Bonucci (RCB), Romagnoli (LCB), Rodriguez (LB)
Bonaventura (RCM), Biglia (CDM), Kessie (LCM)
Suso (RWF), Cutrone (ST), Calhanoglu (LWF)
Inter Lineup (4-2-3-1)
Cancelo (RB), Miranda (RCB), Skriniar (LCB), D’Ambrosio (LB)
Gagliardini (CDM), Vecino (CDM)
Karamoh (RM), Candreva (CAM), Perisic (LM)
AC Milan vs Inter Prediction
Derby della Madonnina is one of the most popular matches in the world. If we are to judge them by their history, then both these side are the giants in world football, but past few years have been miserable for both the teams.
Both teams have a real chance of finishing in the top four position this campaign, and we will have to wait and watch if these Milan-based sides can hold onto what they have at the moment and qualify for the Champions League next year.
Milan look confident, and we are rooting a close win for the Rossoneri, but Inter will surely give them a run for their money.
Our Prediction: A 2-1 win for Milan