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Behind Enemy Lines: Derby Della Madonnina

In the buildup to the battle for Milan, we asked some questions to one of the writers at SB Nation’s AC Milan blog.

AC Milan v Pescara Calcio - Serie A Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

The international break is over which means the Derby Della Madonnina is next. We know all about our beloved Inter but I wanted to get a better feel for how our cousins are feeling coming into this match. In order to do so I reached out to James Rushton at The AC Milan Offside and asked him some questions to hear his thoughts about their season thus far and what to expect in this match.

8 points separate Milan and Inter right now in the Serie A table. What has been your team's story so far this season?

It's been mixed! Milan have done exceptionally well for the most part, but there's been some disappointing capitulations amongst the peaks of ecstasy! We've seen a rejuvenated Milan finally stumbling awake from the Berlusconi hangover and I can't wait to see where we are come May.

Inter brought in Stefano Pioli as their new coach during the international break meaning this match will be his first in charge of the club. Do you think the fabled new coach upturn in form gives Inter an edge in this game, or does that not matter in a Derby?

Honestly, I think it doesn't matter. Pioli will inject life into Inter, but a derby match is a derby and tactics will go out of the window quite quickly. It'll either come down to luck or simply who's the best team on the day. Let's see what happens!

AC is about to join Inter in having Chinese owners (with cash to burn), and for the first time since the 12/13 season both sides beat Juventus in Serie A. Do you think the city of Milan is beginning to rise again, and if so which club do you believe will return to prominence first?

Out of the two I believe AC have got a strong chance, It's been a good year thus far and if we continue our success we've got an amazing foundation for the future. Money doesn't win football matches though!

Honestly, despite what happens or may happen, Milan and Italian football deserve both teams back at their best!

Which player are you hoping will lead your team to victory?

Carlos Bacca, ideally, but he's blown hot and cold this year. He's devastated teams with his striking prowess but has vanished for ninety minutes on other occasions. What's more is that whenever he is substituted or started from the bench, he has temper tantrums. However, if there's one man who can make a difference - it's him.

Which player would you take from the other team if you could?

Rodrigo Palacio! I think he has awesome hair and Milan could do with another striking option that wouldn't be annoyed at a bench place (unlike Bacca)

What is your prediction for the match?

I think the best thing for both teams is a draw - I'll take a 1-1

I answered the same questions for him and you should be able to find my thoughts on their site shortly.