Simone Inzaghi’s Inter is quietly building steam with three straight victories but its biggest test yet awaits to lead into the international break. The Nerazzurri return’s from a successful trip to Moldova is greeted with the first Derby della Madonnina of the Inzaghi era against a red-hot Milan.
The Rossoneri currently sit atop Serie A with a whopping 30 points from eleven games. A 1-1 draw with Juventus back on September 19th was the only time Milan dropped points all season, and it beat Lazio, Roma, and Atalanta by a combined score of 7-3. Stefano Piolo is now in his second full season at the club but shows no signs of slowing down. Despite losing Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu over the summer and spending most of its money on making loans permanent or cheap veterans, Milan remains one of the top clubs on the peninsula. Much of that is thanks to boosts in form from players already within the wall of the San Siro.
Portuguese winger Rafael Leao has jumped to the next level for the Rossoneri and leads the goalscoring charts with four tallies while Sandro Tonali is turning potential into actual quality after a rocky debut season. Olivier Giroud (4g), Brahim Diaz (3g, 1a), and Zlatan Ibrahimovic (3g, 1a) are also more than capable of causing Inter’s backline headaches. Piolo has been forced to navigate a seemingly-never ending injury list as well. Junior Messias, Ante Rebic, Samu Castillejo, Pietro Pellegri, and Mike Maignan are all unavailable Sunday, along with the suspended Theo Hernandez. Previously injured Brahim Diaz and Zlatan have worked back to full fitness recently and should be good to go from the start against Inter.
As important as Inter’s 3-1 win over Sheriff Tiraspol was, Inzaghi and Co. can’t afford to slip up in the final outing before the international break. The good guys are currently seven points out of Napoli and Milan in first, both of whom Inter plays on either side of the break. The Rossoneri and Partenopei’s astounding form is bound to end eventually but it’s on Inter to be within striking distance when they inevitably slip up.
Inter has taken on its cousins 228 times across all competitions, winning 84 compared to Milan’s 77 (according to our friends at Wikipedia). The Nerazzurri have lost just one of the last eight against Milan, falling 2-1 last October. The defeat was soon avenged with a dramatic Christian Eriksen game-winner in the Coppa Italia and dominant 3-0 thrashing in league play.
- 1-2 (H) - 17/10/2020
- 2-1 (H) - 26/1/2021 (Coppa Italia)
- 3-0 (A) - 21/2/2021
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: AC Milan 2-2 Inter Milan
Milan’s unbeaten run will survive but Inter will be able to derail its winning streak thanks to goals from Lautaro Martinez and Nicolo Barella. Milan will strike back through Leao and Ibrahimovic in an end-to-end affair.