GdS: Theo’s mission and Brahim hope – Pioli’s aims for the derby vs. Inter

By Oliver Fisher -

The derby is a fixture where almost everything form-wise goes out of the window and the main focus is always the end result, but Stefano Pioli has some things he wants to achieve.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports how in the 10 games where Pioli has been in charge of Milan after an international break in the second half of the season, the Rossoneri have suffered only 1 defeat. However, they face an Inter side that are full of confidence and they know that a victory could put the Scudetto discussions to bed.

One of the tactical intrigues will be regarding Franck Kessie, who returned from the African Cup of Nations with an injury that has since been overcome. He could have an unusual and important task in the derbv: to act as an attacking midfielder, giving some physicality to the trocar, and to disrupt the impact of Marcelo Brozovic.

Milan chose not to buy a defender in January so it will likely be up to Alessio Romagnoli and Pierre Kalulu to face the Inter attack – the most potent in the league – but this time Theo Hernandez will be in the line-up having missed the game earlier in the season. The Frenchman is crucial to Pioli’s mechanisms because he is not just a full-back, he can play as a winger, an inside forward and sometimes even a centre-forward because of his dangerous runs.

Meanwhile, Olivier Giroud remained on the bench in the derby during the first half of the season and the striker’s condition has also improved, while there also also the desire to get Brahim Diaz back into form and the Spaniard could be important during the game if Kessie starts in a more advanced role.

Alexis Saelemaekers and Rafael Leao will have the mission of creating problems with smart movement, linking up with Giroud and creating space for the others that get forward. In short, the list of potential protagonists is not a small one.

READ MORE: Spurs offered two players to Milan in swap attempt but Kessie scuppered talks

Tags AC Milan Inter Milan
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