Serie A preview: AC Milan vs. Inter – Team news, opposition insight, stats and prediction

By Isak Möller -

A significant Derby della Madonnina awaits AC Milan and Inter as the latter have the opportunity to clinch the Scudetto. The Rossoneri will do everything to make sure this doesn’t happen, but their derby record is far from great. 

Milan have lost the last five encounters with Inter in all competitions and taking recent form into consideration, it’s difficult to imagine that this trend will change. The Rossoneri are coming off a very disappointing Europa League exit and Inter, knowing that a win will secure the title, will surely give their everything.

During his pre-match press conference, Stefano Pioli made it clear that the best Milan will be needed to secure a positive result tomorrow. He also admitted that it will be far from easy, though, and that the preparation might not be enough.

Game date: Monday, April 22
Kick-off time: 20:45 (CEST)
Venue: San Siro
Referee: Andrea Colombo (VAR: Marini)

Team news

There are a few absences to take into consideration, mainly in defence. The likes of Pierre Kalulu and Simon Kjaer are both struggling with injuries, while Malick Thiaw is suspended. This leaves just Matteo Gabbia and Fikayo Tomori, who will start, as the youngsters will play in the UEFA Youth League final tomorrow.

As per the latest reports, Pioli will most likely opt for the usual starters for this game, meaning Davide Calabria and Theo Hernandez will complete the back four. In midfield, Ismael Bennacer will keep his spot while Tijjani Reijnders will be back from start, having surprisingly been benched against Roma.

It looks like Christian Pulisic, Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao will be the attacking trio tomorrow, while Ruben Loftus-Cheek will be in the No.10 role. Samuel Chukwueze is still an option, though, having done so well for the Rossoneri in recent weeks.

If the Nigerian were to get the chance, it’s possible that Pioli could bench either Pulisic or Loftus-Cheek. For now, though, the usual attack is expected to start. Olivier Giroud was really poor against Roma and will certainly have to step up in his final derby with Milan. We can all remember the Scudetto season, and now we need something similar.

Update: La Gazzetta dello Sport believe that Musah will play as the right winger with Rafael Leao leading the line and Pulisic on the left.

Predicted Milan XI (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Gabbia, Tomori, Theo; Adli, Reijnders; Musah, Loftus-Cheek, Pulisic; Leao.

The opponents

Inter have been tremendous this season and despite the slip-up against Cagliari last time out, the feeling is that they will clinch the Scudetto tomorrow (unfortunately). With the derby record in mind, and with no injuries to factor in, they are the clear favourites to win.

Simone Inzaghi’s men have lost just one game all season – against Sassuolo in September – and there have been just five draws. In short, they have been miles ahead of the competition and the Champions League as well as Coppa Italia exits have certainly helped in the league.

This could be an important factor tomorrow as the Nerazzurri have had over a week to prepare, while Milan have had just a few days. Not to mention that the Rossoneri’s confidence took a huge knock after the defeats against Roma.

In any case, Inzaghi is set to make a few changes to the starting eleven as Benjamin Pavard and Lautaro Martinez should get the nod. The latter, who has bagged 23 league goals this season, was suspended against Cagliari and his return is certainly important.

Predicted Inter XI (3-5-2): Sommer, Pavard, Acerbi, Bastoni; Darmian, Barella, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Thuram, Martinez.

Head to head

As mentioned already, Milan have had big problems in the derby with five consecutive losses in all competitions. In the league, they have lost the last two and the most recent one ended 5-1 in favour of the Nerazzurri, which says a lot.

Inter have never won six consecutive games against Milan before, but the Rossoneri have gone on such a run twice in their history. Regardless of the record, though, it’s clear that losing six derbies on the trot would be nothing short of embarrassing.

Milan did win the last home derby in the league, though, as Rafael Leao scored a brace in the 3-2 win. It remains to be seen if they can replicate that performance tomorrow, but the feeling is that Inter are a much better team now compared to then.

Match facts and stats

➤ Inter have won the last five derbies against Milan in all competitions, already a record run for the Nerazzurri against the Rossoneri. Only twice in the history of the Milan derby have one of the two teams achieved six wins in a row: Milan between 1946 and 1948 and between 1911 and 1913.

➤ Milan have won only one of the last eight derbies against Inter played as hosts in all competitions (D3 L4): in the most recent league match (3-2 on 3 September 2022) – the last time the Rossoneri recorded two home wins in a row against the Nerazzurri in Serie A was back in 2008.

➤ If Inter win this match, it will be the first time in Serie A history the Scudetto has been won at the end of a match between Milan and Inter. With five games still to play, it would be the joint-earliest a team has won the Serie A title (also Napoli 2022-23, Juventus 2018-19, Inter 2006-07, Fiorentina 1955-56 and Torino 1947-48).

➤ Stefano Pioli is the coach who has lost the most matches in the history of the Milan derby in all competitions: nine defeats, all in charge of Milan. Since he has coached the Rossoneri, Milan have won only three of the 14 matches overall against Inter (D2 L9), scoring 12 goals and conceding 29.

➤ Milan remained unbeaten in 16 of their last 17 league games (W12 D4), scoring 37 goals (2.2 on average); the only defeat in the period came against Monza on February 18th.

➤ Inter have remained unbeaten in their last 26 league matches (W21 D5), only three times in their Serie A history have they recorded more matches in a row without defeat: 31 between April 2007 and February 2008, 33 between May 2006 and April 2007 and 27 between May 2004 and February 2005.

➤ Inter have scored in their last 40 league matches, setting their Serie A record. Only Juventus (twice) have recorded a longer streak of consecutive goalscoring matches in the history of the competition: 44 matches between October 2016 and December 2017 and 43 between February 2013 and March 2014.

➤ Inter (77) and Milan (63) are the two teams that have scored the most goals in Serie A this season, but the Rossoneri (37) have conceded 20 goals more than the Nerazzurri (17).

➤ In his four Serie A matches against Inter, Milan’s Olivier Giroud has scored three goals and provided two assists. The Nerazzurri are one of three teams, with Cagliari and Frosinone, against which the French striker has more involvements than appearances in the Italian top-flight.

➤ Lautaro Martínez (eight goals) is Inter’s third-best scorer in the history of the Milan Derby in all competitions, behind only Giuseppe Meazza (12) and Stefano Nyers (11). The Argentine could become the fifth player to reach double figures in goals in matches between Milan and Inter with a single shirt, after Andriy Shevchenko (14, Milan), Giuseppe Meazza (12, Inter), Gunnar Nordahl (11, Milan) and Stefano Nyers (11, Inter).

Ones to watch

There is no doubt that Rafael Leao in good form could help win Milan the derby. He has what it takes to decide a game on his own and in the last few weeks, we really haven’t seen the No.10 in his best form. Hopefully, tomorrow can be a turning point.

In addition to Leao, Fikayo Tomori will also be crucial. Similarly to Leao, he has struggled to find his best form since the injury in December and tomorrow, he will need to be on his toes against a very good Inter attack.

As for Inter, Lautaro Martinez is the man to stop and as highlighted above, he certainly likes to find the back of the net in the derby. Milan cannot afford to give him any space inside the box as well as outside it, because he will punish them if they do.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan is another player who seemingly always turns up in the derby and Milan will need to stop his intelligent runs tomorrow. He’s very good at finding open space between midfield and defence, so the Rossoneri will need to be compact.


Unfortunately, as much as it hurts, the feeling is that Inter will secure all three points tomorrow and thus clinch the Scudetto. Milan have been in very poor form lately and little suggests that they will be able to turn the negative derby trend around. Perhaps the affair can be closer, but nothing more than that.

Milan 1-2 Inter 

Tags AC Milan Inter


  1. I don’t understand how Giroud is starting over Okafor or Jovic. He has been terrible the last several games, especially poor the last two.

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