GdS: How Milan and Inter’s starting XIs will change ahead of September clash

By Oliver Fisher -

The 2023-24 season has not even begun yet nor have AC Milan played a meaningful friendly, but the derby against Inter is never far away from anyone’s thoughts.

La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes how the meeting in round four of the new campaign will be the fifth of the 2023 calendar year. For now, the score is 4-0 to Inter after their win in Serie A, the Supercoppa and both legs of the semi-final of the Champions League.

Simone Inzaghi’s side will face a very different Milan this time around. The 4-2-3-1 was cast aside towards the end of last season with a 4-3-3, 3-4-2-1 and 3-5-2 used, and it is the former that should be the system moving forward.

The use of the three-man defence was the consequence of the loss of Mike Maignan which took away defensive security, but it came at the expense of losing out on what Rafael Leao was good at, given a more central role limited his capacity to use his strengths.

While certain players changed, Inzaghi’s 3-5-2 remained a constant, even despite the criticisms of immobility when three central defenders against one forward seemed like a waste.

Marcelo Brozovic has left, Andre Onana is gone, Edin Dzeko is in Turkey and Romelu Lukaku will not be coming back, so now Inzaghi is forced to at least slightly change his approach from the rigid machine.

Meanwhile, a new Milan is being born. Without Brahim Diaz between the lines, there is likely to be no natural attacking midfielder so now a trident should see Rafael Leao on the left, Olivier Giroud as the centre-forward and either Samuel Chukwueze or Christian Pulisic as the right winger.

The balancing tendency of Alexis Saelemaekers or Junior Messias is gone but the attacking threat increased, and a three-man midfield should offer more protection.

There is mystery about how that will look too. Tijjani Reijnders and Ruben Loftus-Cheek seem like box-to-box players, Rade Krunic can play a bit deeper and Yunus Musah could arrive, but there is no natural defensive midfielder.

The bottom line seems to be that Inter will be compact and look to capitalise on high recoveries, while Milan will press and move the ball vertically at pace. There is 55 days before that first derby, with more movement to come.

Last Milan derby XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Kjaer, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Tonali, Krunic; Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Leao; Giroud.

Last Inter derby XI (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Dzeko, Martinez.

Next season’s Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Thiaw, Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Loftus-Cheek, Krunic, Reijnders; Pulisic (Chukwueze), Giroud (Okafor), Leao.

Next season’s Inter XI (3-5-2): Sommer; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Calhanoglu, Frattesi, Dimarco; Thuram, Lautaro.

Tags AC Milan


  1. I’d point out that Hakan is not a DM yet he is playing one nowadys.. So Milan might not need a DM as well if ‘ders is up to the task

    1. I don’t know about Inter (nor should I give a f#@k!!)

      But Milan will line up:

      Singo/Kalulu. Thaiw Tomori. Theo
      Rjinders RLC. Dominguez
      Chukwueze. OKOFOR. LEAO


  2. Didn’t realise there was also a fair bit of disruption at Inter too.

    That helps.

    The side with the fewest disruptions will have the biggest advantage.

  3. Milan definitely improved since last season, maybe the midfield is a bit weaker without Tonali and Bennacer but the attacking is way better.
    I have to say that if we play 4-2-3-1 most probably Pulisic will play as attacking midfielder instead of Krunic, he is playing in that position for the national team and he is doing very well

  4. Can’t wait to see when we crush inter this season, repeat of the 6 goal win in 2001 will be welcome. Especially, they have sold Onana without properly replacing him.

    1. “Especially, they have sold Onana without properly replacing him”

      Interesting cause, some people said that they plan, before selling with replacement already lined up..

    2. first off sommer is a good keeper. bayern got him to cover for Neur since he is injured..
      Second, there is talk of inter getting Trubin..
      He’d be among my top picks if milan needed to replace Mike.. Very good prospect gk

      1. I believe you may all excuse me for wishing inter bottled their replacement for Onana…lol. In this business until the player arrives…he is not part of the team. I wish inter not the very best in their pursuit of replacing Onana…

  5. Maignan
    1-4-2-3-1 will be the best for MiLAN

    1. I read about possible in game formation change when we attack and defend. Hence we have gotten the players we have so far…interesting season to look forward to. Although, I wasn’t expecting this sort of investment considering our record in the transfers market in the previous three seasons. I must say hats off to the Milan management and with this many talent at our disposal the only failure bar players injuries will come from the Coach(Pioli)

  6. I want to tell everyone here that the players that will shock everyone here will be okafor ,Romero and chucky ,if this players are used properly they will shine in milan

  7. I think the switch to a 4-3-3 is being over hyped. To me the signings at this point seem more likely to suggest a continuation of the 4-2-3-1

    1. No hype, both formations will be used.

      The only joy is that we have the players to alternate the formations unlike last season.

      One more physical midfielder after Musah and we will be really solid.

  8. Surely we won’t go to 433. The midfield is weaker than last season and we’ve bought Pulisic, Chukwueze and Okafor…play Pulisic as the no10 with Leao and Chukwueze wide.

    We are Minus Tonali and for a large part of the season Bennacer, in the scudetto season Krunic was behind Tonali, Bennacer, Kessie and now he’s a starter??!!!! People seem to have selective thinking. RLC is not good enough so I hope Reijnders hits the ground running,

    Kessie seems available for 15m…i’d snap him right back up

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