Inter Milan vs AC Milan Preview

Italian Serie A | Sunday 13 September 2015 | San Siro Stadium | 20:45

The Serie A returns this weekend with one of the greatest cross-town derbies in not just the Italian league, but the footballing world. The Milan Derby! Or as the Italians would say, the Derby della Madonnina. It was during the late 80’s, 90’s and early 2000’s, when Inter Milan and AC Milan were at their greatest. From claiming league honours to UEFA Champions League glory these colossal clubs bagged every major honour there is. However, since then, the pair has fizzled-out but among the club, supporters and players, this is always going to be a humdinger of a match. 

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To Win (90mins)
Inter 12/10
Draw 9/4
Milan 24/10

Inter Milan

Inter Milan have made a bright start to the Serie A, claiming back-to-back victories. Their opening game of the season saw the Nerazzurri edge Atalanta 1-0 on their turf, courtesy of a stoppage-time strike from on loan Manchester City striker Stevan Jovetic. The Montenegrin forward again saved Inter with a late penalty after scoring the opening goal of the game to claim a 2-1 victory at Carpi last time out. 

Inter have not been at their best, but thanks to a resolute attitude and a more solid foundation, they have made it two wins out of two. Jovetic has come to Inter’s rescue for two weeks running, and in the absence of the injured Mauro Icardi, he has come up with three goals in two games. He has been the difference maker, someone who can come up with something out of nothing; he has given manager Roberto Mancini exactly what he needs, especially as he has been looking for players who can add innovation to his team. Mancini is in his second season of his spell at Inter. It is true that his side have not been at their best, but after a busy end to the transfer window, there is now a good situation where they can incorporate the new players into the group. 

The main difference from the team that has taken the field this season to the one that took the field in 2014-15 is the calmness they have shown on and off the ball. Defensively, Inter look solid and the partnership between Joao Miranda and Jeison Murillo must not go unnoticed. This composure at the back has allowed the rest of the team to build without the panic that tended to ensue last term. Defensive midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia can also not be overlooked as at times he was breathtaking. The 4-3-1-2 formation has been Mancini's mainstay but the lack of width has also seen a lack of creativity. However, new signing Ivan Perisic was in the stands against Carpi and he will allow Mancini an option to cover the creative void. 

AC Milan

The Rossoneri made a staggering start to the new campaign going down 2-0 at Fiorentina. However, they got back to winning ways in front of their own fans against Empoli as they battled to a 2-1 victory in their second match. Former player Sinisa Mihajlovic has replaced Filippo Inzaghi as manager with high expectations from the board of directors and faithful fans. The Serbian has reiterated all summer that it is vital that Milan get back to being among the top clubs in Europe. It is now down to him to ensure that it happens. The plan is simple and clear, that the Rossoneri intend on controlling matches at all times by imposing their style of play on the opposition. 

Previous boss Inzaghi failed to fully grasp that concept last season despite an impressive start. Milan were unable to dominate proceedings as he had planned, and were too often on the back foot even against the "inferior" sides in the Serie A. If Milan are to turn things around this year, they need to not only improve on the pitch but they need to change their mentality and have confidence and conviction in their approach. 

This is a side well equipped to make a run at the Champions League places this season. Milan added some quality to their team this past transfer window with the likes of Carlos Bacca, Luiz Adriano, Alessio Romagnoli, and the controversial Mario Balotelli all joining the Rossoneri. Adriano will be the go-to-man after a Man of the Match performance against Empoli, scoring the winner and assisting Bacca with the opening goal of the game and the South American duo will look to torment Inter’s centre-backs Miranda and Murillo. 

Probable line-ups:

Inter Milan: 4-3-1-2
Handanovic; Santon, Miranda, Murillo, Juan Jesus; Kondogbia, Medel, Guarin; Brozovic; Palacio, Jovetic 

AC Milan: 4-3-1-2
Diego Lopez; De Sciglio, Zapata, Romagnoli, Antonelli; Bertolacci, De Jong, Nocerino; Suso; Bacca, Luiz Adriano

Betting Verdict: Draw 9/4
The teams cancelled each other out in both Milan derbies last season. However, the Rossoneri did manage a hard fought 1-0 win over Inter in the pre-season Champions Cup and the Nerazzurri will be out for revenge. There has been Under 2.5 Goals between these sides in the last six meetings and that could be well worth a punt at 15/20. And as for a result, the draw looks quite promising.   

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Written by Aaron Crowie for @Hollywoodbets. Follow them both on Twitter and Facebook now!