AC Milan and Inter Milan have both failed to live up to the expectations this season, and no doubt they will have an extra motive to do well in Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina. The Rossoneri appear to be in slightly better form at the moment, but we shouldn’t forget that they trail the arch rivals seven points in the league standings.
Following yet another disappointing campaign, AC Milan chiefs decided to invest heavily in the playing squad while also luring coach Sinisa Mihajlovic from Sampdoria, but it is now clear they haven’t exactly secured the best value for money. The new boss also has to take the blame for failing to rebuild the squad quickly enough, although his switch to 4-4-2 formation did bring some improvement. The Rossoneri now have just one defeat in last twelve games (W7 D4), so we can say that they are close to returning to the right track. Given the somewhat difficult fixture list, three wins and two draws in last five matches on all fronts is a pretty decent record, but all those results won’t matter much if Milan lose to bitter rivals Inter on Sunday evening. The Rossoneri did show some improvement at the back, but considering they are much better when going forward, we can pretty much rule out a cautious approach from Sinisa Mihajlovic.
Star striker Mario Balotelli has recovered from injury, but he will have to settle for a place on the bench, with centre-back Alex also returning.
Keisuke Honda and Andrea Bertolacci should keep their places, but Diego Lopez and Rodrigo Ely remain in the treatment room.
Despite the fact that Inter Milan led the title chase for large part of the current Serie A campaign, the reality is the Nerazzurri have never been too impressive. And while Roberto Mancini has got to be congratulated for patching up the leaky defence, he has so far been unable to find cure for team’s attacking problems. This is why Inter are set to complete a deal for Sampdoria’s Eder, but until he joins the squad, the likes of Mauro Icardi, Stevan Jovetic and Rodrigo Palacio will have to do. The Argentine striker has been in fine form this season, but his teammates have not exactly impressed, but having now slipped to fourth in the standings, the Nerazzurri will have no option but to go for a win in Derby della Madonnina. Inter will probably be quite happy to wait for their chance on the break, and we can see them scoring at least once at San Siro. The Coppa Italia defeat to Juventus was the first away game this season in which Roberto Mancini’s side failed to score.
Ivan Perisic faces a fitness test as he battles an ankle injury, but the good news is there are no other worries for Roberto Mancini.
Mauro Icardi and Marcelo Brozovic are likely to be recalled, with Geoffrey Kondogbia and Jonathan Biabiany set to make way.
Key Factors to Consider
- AC Milan won three of last five meetings with Inter (L2)
- Under 1.5 goals were scored in five of last six Derby della Madonnina games
- AC Milan conceded in five of last six home fixtures
- Inter Milan scored in 13 of last 14 matches on the road
- Both teams have scored in three of AC Milan’s last five games
AC Milan head into the high-profile clash in good spirits having won three of last four matches and the Rossoneri can be trusted to adopt an attack-minded approach from the off. Inter Milan have failed to impress up front, but they should have quite a few opportunities to catch the opposition on the break, which is why we are backing both teams to score.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 5/6