GdS: Pioli and Inzaghi prepare for a huge derby without a combined 32 internationals

By Oliver Fisher -

Both AC Milan and Inter will not have ideal preparation leading up to the derby in just under a fortnight because of the international break coming up.

This morning’s edition of La Gazzetta dello Sport (seen below) writes that Inter will have 17 players leave to go and represent their countries, with the most notable being Lautaro Martinez who will return from South America just 48 hours before the game.

Juan Cuadrado and Alexis Sanchez will also face long journeys, while the rest will be in Europe and there are five players who will represent Italy.

Milan boss Stefano Pioli meanwhile will prepare for the game without eight of his 11 usual starters. Davide Calabria, Pierre Kalulu and Ruben Loftus-Cheek are the ones who will remain and will likely start against Inter.

From Mike Maignan to Tijjani Reijnders, from Rafael Leao to Olivier Giroud, 15 Milan players will spend the next week traveling around the Europe and the world, to return a few days after the Scudetto clash with Inter on 16 September.

Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah will be the last to return. On the night of 13 September at 02:00 CEST, they will be on the field for the friendly between United States and Oman in Saint Paul, Minnesota.

At the end of the match they will board a plane that will take them back to Milan with two training sessions available before the derby and with fatigue and jet lag to work off.

Samuel Chukwueze – the first alternative to Pulisic – will fly to another continent, but luckily for Pioli the match of 10 between Nigeria and São Tomé and Principe is relatively worthless given that the winger’s side have already qualified for the African Cup of Nations.

Maignan, Theo and Giroud will split their time between Ireland (Euro 2024 qualifiers) and Malick Thiaw’s Germany (friendly, given the European Championship will be played on German soil).

It is likely that Didier Deschamps will rotate the starters and reserves between the two matches, it is possible that the derby will already be talked about in the Bleus dressing room, also frequented by Nerazzurri players Thuram and Pavard.

Reijnders’ Netherlands – who are in the same group as France, have Greece and Ireland on their agenda – but Tijjani has not yet played a minute in the Oranje shirt and it remains to be seen if his form with Milan will earn him some game time.

Luka Jovic barely had time to sign before he left for Serbia. Then, for Kalulu it will be an important fortnight at Milanello getting ready to replace the suspended Tomori in central defence. He has a dozen days to think about Lautaro, Thuram and how to stop them.

Tags AC Milan


  1. Tomori’s suspension is a blessing to milan.Lautaro will feel happy to see Tomori as to use him to shine.kalulu is far more better than tomori and can form a good partnership with malick thiaw in defence.

  2. Yes these international games do seem to come at awkward times ..
    We have such a big game coming up afterwards against inter fact inter will be the biggest obstacle to us becoming the scuddeto champions again
    Just hope we don’t get any injuries..of course the same applies to inter ,but my concern is for us AC Milan .. I just hope we can start the game with same trio at front ,,that is Giroud ,pulisic and rafael leao
    This may or may not be possible..

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