Big Game Focus: Inter Milan v AC Milan

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The 225th Milan Derby sees Inter firmly in the ascendancy as they mount their first serious title challenge since AC Milan beat them to the Scudetto in 2011. Bet on the game here.

The nine seasons since AC Milan’s triumph have witnessed a barren spell for the Nerazzurri and Rossoneri, as both have become accustomed to residing in the shadows while Juventus have dominated the footballing landscape of Italy.

This season, however, things are different. Under the guidance of new manager Antonio Conte, Inter are once again fighting for the crown and start Matchweek 23 just three points behind the Old Lady. The Nerazzurri have gone 15 games without defeat in the Italian top flight, while summer signings Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez have been recently joined by Christian Eriksen, Victor Moses and Ashley Young.

AC Milan have a star signing of their own, though. Zlatan Ibrahimovic is back at the San Siro, seven and a half years after leaving for PSG. The man who led the Rossoneri to the title in 2011 has scored twice in five appearances upon his return and should overcome a minor injury scare to be fit for the derby.

This will be the most star-studded edition of the Derby della Madonnina in some years – will it be the most exciting?

Betting tips

The Nerazzurri are second in the table and have lost just once in the Serie A this term. They have not lost to AC Milan in normal time since January 2016, winning four of their last five league meetings. Get odds of 2.00 on an Inter Win.

There has only been one first-half goal across the last five meetings between these sides. More goals have come after half time in four of the last five derbies in the Serie A. So far this campaign both of these sides have conceded twice as many goals in the second half as they have in the first. Odds of 2.10 are available for Second Half With Most Goals.

Inter’s number nine Lukaku has scored 16 goals in 22 league games since his arrival from Manchester United in the summer. Only Ciro Immobile and Cristiano Ronaldo have netted more goals than the Belgian, who was on the scoresheet twice in last weekend’s win at Udinese. He also scored when these sides met back in September and the odds are 1.90 for him to do the same again this time.

Team news

Lautauro Martinez will miss the derby through suspension, so Conte must decide on whom will partner Lukaku in attack. Seventeen year-old Sebastiano Esposito was preferred at Udinese last week, but Lukaku’s former team mate Alexis Sanchez has returned to fitness and could be in line to start alongside him once more. Samir Handanovic suffered a finger injury in training last week and is unlikely to feature.

The big news for AC Milan is that Ibrahimovic and Lucas Biglia are back in training and are winning the race to be fit in time to start. Ante Rebic is likely to make way for the Swede, while Biglia has not featured yet in 2020 and could be allowed more time to recover fully

Possible teams

Inter Milan: Padelli, Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni, Moses, Vecino, Barella, Young, Eriksen, Esposito, Lukaku

AC Milan: G. Donnarumma, Conti, Kjaer, Romanogli, Hernandez, Castillejo, Cahanoglu, Kessie, Bonaventura, Rafael Leao, Ibrahimovic