It’s Derby Della Madonnina o’clock, but this installment will be like no other. With COVID-19 cases circling both clubs, and the hopes of an uninterrupted 2020/21 season all but gone, the shadow of the pandemic will certainly be looming over the San Siro. That doesn’t mean the game promises to be any less entertaining than what we would expect, though. In fact, perhaps the opposite.
Milan has not lost since a defeat to Genoa on March 8th (!!), a run of form that was enough to keep Stefano Pioli in a job despite intense Ralf Rangnick speculation. So far that decision has proved to be a correct one as the Rossoneri are perfect in the league this season all while simultaneously progressing through Europa League qualifying and booking a spot in the group stages. Despite all of those positive signs, it’s unclear whether Milan can sustain such form. There were few major additions in the transfer window so the squad looks a bit light in some areas, with center-back and striker being the most glaring spots. This derby clash will also be Milan’s first real test of the season so the Rossoneri will be coming into this with plenty to prove even as it occupies the top spot in the table.
Inter hasn’t lost against Milan in league play since January 2016 but that could very week change Saturday. The double punch of six coronavirus cases throughout the team and several players getting international duty call ups has decimated the squad. Inter’s depth will be called into a bit more action than Conte would prefer, but that’s simply the reality thanks to 2020’s football calendar. This game kicks off a three week stretch of three games a day, followed by another international break, and then a similar four week run of games. Yikes...
Last Season’s Results
- 2-0, A, September 21st
- 4-2, H, February 2nd
Predicted Starting XIs
Inter’s defensive woes will no doubt continue, with Bastoni and Skriniar unavailable and Zlatan Ibrahimovic fully recovered. The Nerazzurri won’t have issues scoring, though, as Lukaku and Lautaro pick up where they left off. Breaking Milan’s unbeaten run will have to wait until another day, though, as enjoyable as it would have been to see Inter be the team to do it.