Saturday, June 3, 2023

Prediction: AC Milan vs Inter Milan

Veselin Trajkovic in Free Soccer Predictions 9 May 2023


Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: Unibet

The semifinals of the Champions League kick off with the first matches being played this week. On Tuesday, holders Real Madrid host Premier League champions Manchester City at the Santiago Bernabeu, in what many see as “the final before the final”, but Italian giants AC Milan and Inter Milan will both feel they have something to say about it when they take each other on at San Siro on Wednesday.

It will obviously be a great occasion for both sets of fans, to see the Derby of Milan being played at this stage of this competition at the city’s famous venue, and neither side will be short on motivation or support from the stands. Apart from the immense rivalry between them, they’ will both look on this moment as a chance to be reckoned among the best of the best again, after far too long.

AC Milan

Milan have, of course, won this competition seven times before, a tally only Real Madrid have bested so far, but the last time it happened was in 2007, when they took revenge on Liverpool in the final in Athens for what happened in Istanbul two years before. Back then, Filippo Inzaghi scored twice for the Rossoneri, before Dirk Kuyt pulled one back with a minute left on the clock.

Those days, when Milan were truly feared by any team out there, are no more, but Stefano Pioli has certainly managed to put together a high-quality unit. His men won the Scudetto last year, and though they’ve already lost it to Napoli this term, they’ll be looking to do even better in the end and win the European crown instead.

Having finished second to Chelsea in Group E, the Rossoneri edged past Tottenham Hotspur in the round of 16 and got some revenge over Napoli in the quarterfinals to get to this stage.

Milan are undefeated in their last nine matches played across all competitions, but there were too many Serie A draws that could only be seen as points dropped in that time, which explains the fact that they’re currently out of the top four, sitting fifth with 61 points. Nonetheless, they showed a few days ago that they’re prepared to fight to the last minute of the last game.

Milan’s last six matches include a 1-1 draw away to Bologna, a 1-1 draw away to Napoli in the second leg of the Champions League quarterfinals, a 2-0 home win over Lecce, a 1-1 draw away to Roma and another one at home against relegation battlers Cremonese, and eventually a 2-0 home win over Lazio on Saturday.

Team News

The biggest issue for Pioli at the moment is the fitness of Rafael Leao. The Portuguese winger, one of Milan’s top performers this season and a player who keeps attracting attention across Europe, suffered what appeared to have been a groin problem early in the Lazio game and was forced off. It is believed that the decision for him to be replaced was a precaution, with Pioli unwilling to take further risk ahead of this match against Inter, and Leao himself confirmed the injury was nothing serious. But for the time being, his involvement on Wednesday remains uncertain.

Midfielder Tommaso Pobega and striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic remain out through injury, though the Swedish veteran hasn’t even been registered to play in the Champions League.

Mike Maignan will be in goal, with the back four set to be formed by Fikayo Tomori and Simon Kjaer in the middle, Theo Hernandez on the left and Davide Calabria on the right. Sandro Tonali and Ismael Bennacer should play in the middle of the park again, with Rade Krunic further up through the middle. Brahim Diaz is expected to return to the lineup in the place of Junior Messias on the right attacking flank, and if Leao isn’t ready in time, Alexis Saelemaekers should take his place on the left. Olivier Giroud is nailed-on to lead the line.

Inter Milan

Just like their fierce city rivals, Inter are working towards returning to the top of the game after a long absence. Their last Champions League triumph to date happened in 2010, when the team led by Jose Mourinho won the treble, triumphing in the Serie A and the Coppa Italia as well. In the final that year, the Nerazzurri were better than Bayern Munich, with a Diego Milito brace proving decisive on the scoreboard.

Milan may have won the Scudetto last year, but Inter won it the year before under Antonio Conte. Now, the team led by Simone Inzaghi is very formidable once more, and they won’t be too shy to have a go at the European crown themselves, despite the magnitude of the challenge represented by the other three semifinalists.

To get to this semifinal, Inter had to go through a difficult Group C, which they finished second to Bayern Munich, but ahead of Barcelona and Viktoria Plzen.

If they don’t win it, Inter will still have a chance to qualify for the Champions League next season through a top-four finish in the Serie A, and their position is slightly better than Milan’s at the moment – fourth place, 63 points, three less than Juventus in second, and one less than Lazio in third. They will have another chance for a trophy this season too, as they face Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia final later this month.

Meanwhile, Inzaghi’s team are currently on a fantastic run of form, undefeated in their last six matches in all competitions, a 3-3 draw at home in the second leg against Benfica, followed by five wins on the trot: 0-3 away to Empoli, 1-0 at home over Juventus in the second leg of the Coppa semifinal, 3-1 at home over Lazio, 0-6 away to Hellas Verona, and 0-2 away to top-four rivals Roma.

Team News

Inzaghi won’t be able to name centre-back Milan Skriniar or wing-back Robin Gosens in his team through injury, but defender Danilo D’Ambrosio should be back after overcoming a muscle problem.

Goalkeeper Andre Onana should have the trio of Alessandro Bastoni, Federico Acerbi and Matteo Darmian as the back line, with Federico Dimarco and Denzel Dumfries pushing up the flanks as wing-backs. Marcelo Brozovic, Nicolo Barella and Hakan Calhanoglu are expected to start in the middle of the park, with Edin Dzeko joining Lautaro Martinez in attack, while Romelu Lukaku starts on the bench.


Even without taking the magnitude of the Milan rivalry into account, this should be a highly interesting and very tight contest between two teams very close in terms of overall quality. But with two games set to be played, neither should be expected to risk too much at the very start of the contest, with the stakes as high as they are.

Verdict: Total goals under 2.5

Best odds: 3/5

Bookmaker: Unibet


Veselin Trajkovic

Vesko is a football writer that likes to observe the game for what it is, focusing on teams, players and their roles, formations, tactics, rather than stats. He follows the English Premier League closely, Liverpool FC in particular. His articles have been published on seven different football blogs.



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