Two weeks ago, Milan drew at Pescara, which was disappointing to say the least. The Rossoneri got the response they needed last time out with an emphatic 4-0 victory over Palermo. On Saturday, they take on city-rivals in a no-room-for-error derby.
Against the Sicilians, Suso opened the scoring on his comeback with a beautiful freekick. The Spainiard then added an assist for Pasalic, who has now scored in two consecutive matches for the first time in his Milan career. Right before the break, Bacca added a third with a good header, off of a fantastic delivery from Calabria. Deulofeu, added the fourth twenty minutes from time with a lovely solo goal and finessed finish into the bottom corner.
Saturday at 12:30 CET, Milan “visit” Inter in the 218th Derby della Madonnina at the Stadio San Siro. I Nerazzurri come into the match having not won in three and are on the back of two consecutive defeats. They’ve lost their last two matches by the score of 1-2 against both Sampdoria and Crotone. Inter sit just two points back of Milan, in 7th place. If Milan win, you can surley see them securing a top 6 place in the league table, cementing a return to Europe.
PRE-MATCH STATS AND FACTS
#1. Both Milan and Inter have conceded the fewest headed goals this season, at three each (via Opta).
#2. Inter’s star striker, Mauro Icardi has never scored against Milan.
#3. Inter have won 77 of the 217 official derby’s compared to Milan’s 75. Pioli’s team have outscored the Rossoneri 294-292.
#4. Only 5 players who may feature in the derby have scored in a previous one (Palacio, Candreva, Perisic, Suso, and Bacca).
#5. The upcoming Milan derby is set to be the most viewed game in the history of Italian football, with 862 million viewers around the world.
For Montella, Donnarumma will continue between the sticks after his career best 11th clean sheet of the season last time out against Palermo.
Zapata is in contention with Paletta for the center back spot partnering Romagnoli. Calabria and De Sciglio will look to keep their places and right back and left back respectively.
In midfield, Mario Pasalic won’t feature due to yellow card accumulation. Taking his his spot will be one of Locatelli or Mati Fernanadez. The Slovak tank will start along side Sosa in the centre of the pitch.
The attacking trident of Suso, Bacca and Deulofeu will continue for il diavolo against their city rivals.
Inter look set to run a 4-2-3-1 system against Milan. In goal will be ever present Handanovic. Ahead of the Slovenian shot-stopper consist on D’ambrosio and Ansaldi as fullbacks, with Medel and Miranda central. New Inter man Gagliardini will partner with Frenchman Kondogbia ahead of the backline. Icardi’s support up top will come from Banega, Perisic and one of Candreva or Eder.
Likely Inter XI (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; D’ambrosio, Medel, Murillo, Ansaldi; Gagliardini, Kondogbia; Candreva (Eder), Banega (Joao Mario), Perisic; Icardi
Likely AC Milan XI (4-3-3): Donnarumma; Calabria, Zapata (Paletta), Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Kucka, Sosa, Locatelli (Mati); Suso, Bacca, Deulofeu.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
The players that you need to keep an eye for for Inter are going to be Gagliardini, Banega and Icardi. Despite the latter never scoring against his Rossoneri counterparts, he is always a threat going forward. Banega is a set piece specialist, while Gagliardidni will be extra motivated to control the tempo in his first derby. The Italian midfielder is also fresh off a debut for the national team.
Players to watch for Milan? Simple. Suso and Deulofeu instantly spring to mind. The Spanish duo is on top form, especially coming of the thrashing of Palermo at the weekend.
Suso scored a beautiful freekick and then less then a quarter of an hour later had an assist. Suso also scored a brace in the 2-2 draw earlier in the season. Deulofeu, will be playing in his first Derby Milano, and the Catalonian is always a threat. So dangerous on either flank and his pace can’t be matched.
Calabria, is another to watch. The youngester picked up his first Milan assist against Palermo with a fantastic pinpoint cross to Colombian Bacca. The fullback is also a very solid defender.
LAST TIME THEY MET
When these two teams played in November, they played out to 2-2 draw. Inter dominated larger portions of the first half in what was Pioli’s debut in the Inter dugout.
However, Suso opened the scoring just before the break with a beautiful curling shot from just inside the eighteen. Just into the second half, Antonio Candreva equalised for Inter, in his first Milan derby. It was a fantasist shot that Donnarumma had no chance to save.
Suso then restored Milan’s advantage with a great solo goal. In the last play of the match, with Inter throwing everybody, including Handanovic for a corner, they equalised for a second time.
Ivan Perisic scored deep into stoppage time to split the points and leave Milan fans heartbroken. Let’s hope that doesn’t happen again.