Inter’s big Tuesday night win over Cremonese sure felt good, but it was only the appetizer of this week’s action. The main course is set to be served this weekend in the form of the Derby dellla Madonnina, sure to have title ramifications only four games into the season. Even now just one point separates the two Milanese sides, and as we unhappily saw last season, the smallest margins make the largest difference come May.
Milan hasn’t started its 2022/23 season in stellar fashion, picking up two wins and two draws from four outings. Though its results are respectable, the Rossoneri’s performances have left a bit to be desired. Outside of a 4-2 victory over Udinese on Matchday 1, Milan’s attack has struggled to find top gear and it has 3 goals in as many games since. Most worrisome was Wednesday’s 0-0 draw at Sassuolo, where Milan managed just two shots on target all match despite holding 63% possession. There’s reason to think this is only a blip, however. Marquee summer signing Charles De Ketelaere already has one assist to who else but Rafael Leao and their relationship will only blossom as De Ketelaere gets more minutes. The Belgian cost a cool €35 million to pry him away from Club Brugge, almost all of Milan’s €50 million total spend (albeit with €14 million received). The Rossoneri targeted a mix of youth and veteran experience to make up for the free transfer exits of Franck Kessie and Alessio Romagnoli, with ex-Liverpool striker Divock Origi, loan expirations for young midfielders Yacine Adli and Tommaso Pobega, and permanent moves for Junior Messias and Alessandro Florenzi rounding out the Rossoneri’s market.
Inter’s “easy” part of the schedule is now over, with Milan, Bayern, Torino, Viktoria Plzen, and Udinese all on the way ahead of the international break. The absence of Romelu Lukaku will loom especially large, and though Inter looked fine without him Tuesday, Cremonese is the worst of the Nerazzurri’s upcoming opponents. Time for Simone Inzaghi to repay the confidence Inter showed when handing him a two-season contract extension and if not pull a rabbit out of his hat, do something similarly awe-inspiring and where better to start than with the derby.
Inter has a 79W-67D-70L record all-time against its cousins, though it's winless in the last three Serie A clashes (one loss and two draws).
- 3-0 (H), 19/4/2022 - Coppa Italia
- 0-0 (A), 1/3/2022 - Coppa Italia
- 2-1 (A), 5/2/2022
- 1-1 (H), 7/11/2021
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: AC Milan 1-1 Inter Milan
It’s going to be a battle of two teams making sure not to lose rather than going for the win, with first-half goals from Giroud and Lautaro deciding the derby in a 1-1 draw.