AC Milan are scheduled to host Inter in Sunday’s eagerly anticipated Serie A clash at San Siro. The game will be the 178th league meeting between the sides and it is the first time in a decade that the Milan giants are occupying the top two positions ahead of the derby.
The Rossoneri recently suffered their second defeat in four league games after a surprise 1-0 loss at Spezia. The result saw them relinquish their top position to the Nerazzurri for the first time since October last year.
The Nerazzurri are one point ahead of their fierce rivals following a three-match winning streak and the upcoming derby will be crucial for both teams. While Inter have the chance to extend the slender gap at the top, Milan will be aiming to reclaim the first spot.
Milan and Inter have already faced each other on two occasions this term (Serie A and Coppa Italia) and they have won one game each.
Milan raced to a two-nil lead after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s brace in just 16 minutes. Romelu Lukaku reduced the deficit in the 29th minute but Inter were unable to seal a comeback.
Milan’s victory was their first in the derby in nine attempts in the Italian top-flight (three draws and five defeats previously).
Antonio Conte’s avenged the defeat in the Coppa Italia quarter-final where Christian Eriksen made it 2-1 with a sublime free-kick in second-half stoppage time.
The Rossoneri played most of the second period with 10 men after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off before the hour mark with a second yellow card.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic was rested for Milan’s Europa League round of 32 first-leg tie against Red Star Belgrade where Mario Mandzukic led the line.
He should return for the derby alongside Davide Calabria, who missed the last league game through suspension. Brahim Diaz will miss out as he is still nursing a hamstring problem.
Stefano Sensi will be the sole absentee for Inter with a muscle concern.
AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Alessio Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie; Alexis Saelemaekers, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ante Rebic; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Inter (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Achraf Hakimi, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Christian Eriksen, Ivan Perisic; Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez.
Milan were in Europa League action in midweek where a few of their regulars were in action. Hence, Inter should be the fresher side for the derby, given they have no European football to worry about.
Still, we are only fancying a share of the spoils as the Rossoneri will be determined to avoid a fourth defeat from eight league games which would give a handy advantage to their arch-rivals in the title race.
AC Milan 1-1 Inter
Stats from Transfermarkt.com