Italian giants AC Milan and Inter go head to head in the Derby della Madonnina this Sunday, and for the first time in over a decade, the pair go into this historic fixture occupying the top two positions in Serie A.
Antonio Conte’s Inter leapfrogged their city rivals last weekend after they defeated Lazio and Milan lost at Spezia. The Nerazzurri now have a one point lead over Stefano Pioli’s side which they could extend to four points with a win this weekend.
It’s the 174th derby between these two fierce rivals and here is 90min‘s preview of this top-of-the-table clash.
When is it? Sunday 21st February
What time is kick-off? 19:45 (GMT)
Where is it being played? Stadio Giuseppe Meazza or San Siro, Milan
TV Channel: Premier Sports
Referee: Daniele Doveri
Zlatan Ibrahimovic is expected to return to Milan‘s starting line up after he was rested for their Europa League clash with Red Star Belgrade. Brahim Diaz is still sidelined with a hamstring problem but Sandro Tonali, who had suffered minor injury, could return to the first XI after he came on as a substitute in midweek.
Inter have a clean bill of health with the exception of Stefano Sensi, who is out with a muscle injury.
AC Milan: (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic
Inter: (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Perisic; Martinez, Lukaku
Crvena Zvezda 2-2 AC Milan – Europa League – 18/2
Spezia 2-0 AC Milan – Serie A – 13/2
AC Milan 4-0 Crotone – Serie A – 7/2
Bologna 1-2 AC Milan – Serie A – 30/1
Inter 2-1 AC Milan – Coppa Italia – 26/1
Inter 3-1 Lazio – Serie A – 14/2
Juventus 0-0 Inter – Coppa Italia – 9/2
Fiorentina 0-2 Inter – Serie A – 5/2
Inter 1-2 Juventus – Coppa Italia -2/2
Inter 4-0 Benevento – Serie A – 30/1
Although Inter have the superior record of late when it comes to this particular fixture, Milan did win the corresponding league fixture earlier this season. Ibrahimovic put Pioli’s side two goals to the good, scoring twice in a three minute period and although Romelu Lukaku pulled one back just shy of the half hour mark, the Rossoneri were able to hold on for three points.
However, Milan have lost three of their last seven matches, and it could be argue that they are starting to show a sustainable title challenge until the end of the season is perhaps beyond them. Although they rotated in Europe, Inter who were without a midweek fixture will undoubtedly be the fresher of the two sides.
Avoiding defeat here will be the priority for both with Inter looking to keep their place at the top while their rivals look to remain within touching distance. Based on that, you can probably expect a cagey affair and so a low-scoring draw feels like the most sensible prediction.
Prediction: AC Milan 1-1 Inter