Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 4/6
The new Derby della Madonnina takes place in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, where both sides will attempt to make amends for some disappointing results in Serie A of late. Even so, Inter Milan have done much better than their bitter rivals so far and they’ve got to be considered favourites to reach the semis.
Craving instant success, AC Milan invested considerable funds into the playing squad last summer, but the Chinese owners quickly learned it could take a while to bring the Rossoneri where they belong. The team largely struggled under Vincenzo Montella, who was eventually sacked from the post, with AC Milan soldier Gennaro Gattuso taking over the reigns. However, the change has failed to bring any serious improvement, as the Rossoneri continued to struggle on all fronts, slipping to 11th in the Serie A standings. AC Milan face a mountain to climb in an attempt to secure Champions League qualification seeing that they are now 14 points behind fourth-placed AS Roma, who also have a game in hand. Meanwhile, Europa League berths are not too far away, but the team will fight tooth and nail to at least achieve a top 4 finish. The Rossoneri have been utterly disappointing of late, suffering back to back defeats to Hellas Verona (0-3) and Atalanta (0-2), and they will give their best to try and return to winning ways in Derby della Madonnina, taking advantage of a rare dip in form suffered by Inter Milan this season.
Alessio Romagnoli and Suso return from Serie A bans, while Davide Calabria and Hakan Calhanoglu are also expected to start.
Inter Milan also invested a lot of cash into new players this summer, but they mostly made shrewd signings and did so without disrupting the balance of the squad. New head coach Luciano Spalletti did really well to create a homogenous unit, with Borja Valero and Milan Skriniar especially impressing among the newcomers. For quite a while, the Nerazzurri kept up with title rivals Napoli and Juventus, but they have now suffered a serious dip in form, surprisingly suffering back to back defeats to Udinese and Sassuolo after they had held Juventus to a goalless draw in Turin. It is clear that this is just a rough patch they are going through and given the quality of the squad, we fully expect Inter Milan to return to winning ways, maybe as early as Wednesday night. The Nerazzurri do need to sign a new attacking midfielder as Marcelo Brozovic has been average at best and reports suggest they are close to securing a deal for Javier Pastore, who could prove to be a great signing. Until the Argentine arrives at San Siro Stadio, Luciano Spalletti will have to mostly rely on the industrious midfielder Borja Valero, tricky winger Ivan Perisic and one of Europe’s in-form strikers Mauro Icardi.
Unlike his AC Milan counterpart, Luciano Spalletti is widely expected to field a weakened side, with Padelli, Ranocchia, Cancelo, Karamoh and Eder all tipped to play a part.
Key Factors to Consider
- Inter Milan likely to rest most key men
- AC Milan to field a very strong side
- Four goals or more were scored in each of their last three meetings
- Both teams scored two or more goals in those matches
- Inter recorded a 3-2 win in Serie A back in October
We are not convinced that AC Milan have what it takes to win in spite of Inter’s preoccupation with Serie A, but we should again see goals galore in Derby della Madonnina, especially since both sides will be eager to win back some of the lost confidence.
Verdict: Both teams to score
Best Odds: 4/6
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