Inter Milan faces AC Milan at the San Siro on Sunday night in Serie A. The visitors have been in poor form of late and their title defence looks all but over. Inter sit 13 points off the summit and can’t afford to drop any more points in the Supercoppa Italiana two weeks ago as Internazionale won 3-0.
Inter have lost just once in eight fixtures since the post-World Cup resumption. They beat Napoli 1-0 in their first match back after allowing very few chances. A 2-2 league draw at Monza was damaging before a 3-0 thrashing of city rivals Milan saw them lift the Italian Super Cup.
Their league form continued to be inconsistent with a 1-0 home loss to Empoli with ten men for 50 minutes. They have two wins to respond to that defeat, first a 2-1 at Cremonese with 30 shots (22 inside the box) and then a 1-0 win against Atalanta in the Coppa Italia in midweek.
Inter Team News
Marcelo Brozovic has been injured for a while in the midfield holding role and remains a doubt for this one. Nicolò Barella is set to play in that deeper position having done so against Atalanta in the last match.
Up front, Romelu Lukaku started in the last match and had a decent outing with three chances created. He could get the nod over Edin Dzeko once again. Milan Skriniar is set to be stripped over the captain’s armband he has worn in the continued injury absence of Samir Handanovic. He may not play this match at all after he agreed to join PSG for free in May.
This is a derby match so motivation will be high. Inter are second but a defeat would see fifth-placed Milan go above them and it’s currently a five-horse race for spots two to sixth. This is therefore a “must not lose”.
Seeing Milan’s awful defensive form, Inter are likely to be pretty attacking and go for the jugular in this fixture.
AC Milan Form
The defending Scudetto winners are in shambolic form right now, largely due to injuries. Since the break for the World Cup, they’ve won just once in seven matches and that came in the first fixture back, a 2-1 win at Salernitana. After that, they let a 2-0 lead at home to Roma after 86 minutes end in a 2-2 draw.
Since then, they’ve been knocked out of the Coppa Italia (1-0 at home to Torin) and thrashed 3-0 in Saudi Arabia by Inter Milan in the Italian Super Cup. They’re winless in four in Serie A as the Roma draw was followed by a 2-2 at Leece. Their last two results are truly alarming, a 4-0 defeat at Lazio and a 5-2 home loss to Sassuolo.
AC Milan Team News
Mike Maignan is injured in goal and his 36-year-old replacement Ciprian Tatarusanu has not been having a good time. Fikayo Tomori went off injured against Lazio with a thigh problem and experienced Simon Kjaer had a nightmare after replacing him. Matteo Gabbia took that spot last time out and also had a torrid time. There is a small chance Tomori returns here.
Ismael Bennacer misses the last match and is set to miss out again. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Sergino Dest and Alessandro Florenzi are also injured as is long-term victim Theo Hernández.
AC Milan Motivation
Milan needs a result here to boost their low confidence and to keep pace in the race for a top-four finish. They have almost no chance of retaining the Scudetto and are out of two cups with Tottenham on the horizon soon in the Champions League.
In their current shape, Pioli’s side would probably be delighted with a point and something resembling their old selves, particularly defensively.
Inter have won 12 of their last 14 home matches in Serie A
Inter Milan have conceded in 6 of their last 8 Serie A matches
Inter beat Milan 3-0 last month
AC Milan have lost their last 3 matches, conceding 12 goals
Milan have conceded in 7 of their last 8 away Serie A fixtures
Milan have scored 2+ goals in 5 of their last six league matches
Right now, AC Milan looks like a mess. It may be wise to check their XI before this fixture to see if key defender Tomori is fit to return. Inter have been strong defensively of late in the big matches and are resounding favourites to win this fixture.