AC Milan host Inter Milan at the San Siro on Wednesday night in the UEFA Champions League semi-finals. The winner of this tie will be the first Italian side to reach the final since 2017. This is the first time since the 2006-07 season that Milan have reached this stage. Inter won the competition in 2010 and have won their last two meetings with their city rivals without conceding.
AC Milan Form
Milan reached this stage by beating Tottenham 1-0 on aggregate in the round of 16, and Napoli 2-1 in the quarter-finals. They’ve had a poor time of it in Serie A since the turn of the year, winning just six of their last 18 league matches. After a 3-1 loss at Udinese in mid-March, they’re unbeaten in nine matches in all competitions (four wins, five draws).
They won 4-0 at Napoli in the league and later won 1-0 at home in the first leg of the quarter-finals. A 1-1 draw in Naples in the second leg saw Stefano Pioli’s men progress to the semis. Since that result, they’ve been Lecce 2-0 at home and drawn 1-1 at Roma in Serie A, netting a last-gasp equaliser. Another injury-time equaliser was needed to rescue a 1-1 home draw with Cremonese. Over the weekend, they beat Lazio 2-0 at home.
AC Milan Team News
Coach Stefano Pioli has one injury to worry about and it’s a significant one. Key winger Rafael Leao went off injured after 11 minutes against Lazio and is a major doubt. He could recover in time to start or be on the bench. If he can’t start, then Alexis Saelemaekers could come into the XI.
Brahim Diaz was rested over the weekend but should return to start this one. The rest of the XI pretty much picks itself. Ismaël Bennacer will continue as a number ten with Rade Krunic starting behind him in a deeper role. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is ineligible for this competition.
AC Milan Motivation
Milan will be hugely motivated for this match. They’ve been rotating their side in Serie A around most Champions League ties. This is their first time at this stage in 16 years and they want to make it count.
A win in this match will be the target and they’ll look to be relatively attacking in their approach. Expect quite a high defensive line against veteran Edin Dzeko.
Inter Milan Form
Inter have completely turned their season around in the last month. They went into their quarter-final against Benfica on a six-match winless run. A 2-0 win in Lisbon was a huge result and they navigated the second leg well, leading 3-1 before two inconsequential late goals in a 3-3 draw.
Since that second leg, it’s five wins in a row and 15 goals scored. They rested players in a 3-0 win at Empoli and beat Juventus 1-0 at home to reach the Coppa Italia final. Against Lazio, they were 1-0 down with 15 minutes to play and roared back to win 3-1. A 6-0 away thumping of Verona preceded a key 2-0 win away to Roma over the weekend.
Inter Milan Team News
Inter are missing defender Milan Skriniar and he is not expected to play again this season having signed for PSG. Coach Simone Inzaghi has two significant selection choices. Up front, it’s one of Edin Dzeko or Romelu Lukaku as Lautaro Martinez’s partner. Dzeko is more likely to start with Lukaku as an impact sub.
In midfield, it’s one of Henrikh Mkhitaryan or Hakan Calhanoglu to start with Marcelo Brozovic anchoring midfield. Robin Gosens could feature after a concussion but he also may not be risked. Andre Onana is set to get the nod in goal.
Inter Milan Motivation
Inter will be hugely motivated for this Derby. They will be very eager to reach the final. In this first leg, they could play a bit within themselves and look to take the sting out of Milan a bit.
They have a hugely experienced set of players, especially in midfield, and could try to play on the break and expose any naivety from Milan. With Lukaku on the bench, Inter can score late goals and change the game.
AC Milan are unbeaten in 9 matches (5 wins, 4 draws)
Milan have drawn 1-1 in four of their last 6 matches
Milan’s Olivier Giroud has 5 goals in the Champions League this season
Inter have lost just once in 9 Champions League matches, keeping 6 clean sheets
Inter have won their last 2 matches vs AC Milan to zero
Inter Milan have won their last 5 matches, scoring 15 goals
This game is too close to call. There is no significant home/away advantage in this tie and both sides are proving hard to beat right now. Backing a first-leg draw could be a good idea. Over two legs, Inter may have enough to progress.
Best Bet: Inter Milan to qualify at 1.64
Value Bet: Draw at 3.10
Alternative Bet: Inter Milan win/draw double chance + Under 3.5 Goals at 1.71
Correct Score Tip: AC Milan 1-1 Inter Milan at 5.75