Stadio Giuseppe Meazza, Milan
Sunday 13th September, 2015, 19:45 GMT
Inter meet AC Milan at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Serie A on Sunday evening, as they aim to prove who boasts the best squad following a hectic summer. Both Milanese giants pumped millions into the transfer market in a concerted effort to arrest an alarming slide which led to 8th and 10th place finishes respectively last term. The Rossoneri must overturn an awful recent record as the away side, having won just once in their last 10 as the visitors.
It is largely agreed across Europe that Inter had one of the continent’s busiest and more impressive transfer markets, however the sheer number of incoming players and the fact that the final four arrivals all did not begin training with the squad until the start of the international break means that Roberto Mancini will certainly be facing integration issues. During pre season Milan beat Inter twice, once in China during the International Champions Cup and the other came in the Trofeo Tim.
Team news and tactics
This weekend’s edition of the derby perhaps presents the first time in the past few seasons where both Milan clubs could finally have a say in the outcome of the Scudetto. Mancini’s charges come into this clash off the back of two consecutive victories in their opening games, albeit those wins coming against Carpri and Atalanta. Mancini is expected to start with a balanced 4-3-3 formation, however, a knee injury to central defender Joao Miranda will probably see the out of favour Andrea Ranocchia pair up with Jeison Murillo at the back. There are rumours that Mauro Icardi’s thigh strain has not recovered quite as well as hoped, in which case a forward trident of Rodrigo Palacio, Ivan Perisic and Stefan Jovetic will be the probable starting combination.
Following the departure of Hernanes late in the window, it appears as though Mancini will now consistently opt for a 4-3-3 formation that uses Perisic and Stevan Jovetic working alongside frontman Mauro Icardi. Gary Medel, Marcelo Brozovic and Kondogbia are expected to make up an industrious three-man midfield, while incoming loanee Adem Ljajic could be introduced to provide some width later on in the encounter. Inter will, however, be missing the injured trio of Miranda,Nemanja Vidic and Dodo. With Juventus faltering early on and Roma fairly unpredictable, a strong start to the campaign for Inter could see them move into a commanding position to battle for the title. Achieving victory against Milan on Sunday would surely go on to boost an already excited fan-base eager to restore the Serie A crown into a trophy cabinet that has been rather barren of late.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-3-3):Handanovic(Gk); Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Murillo, Santon; Medel, Kondogbia, Brozovic; Perisic, Jovetic, Icardi
Milan addressed certain issues in their squad with the signings of the likes of Alessio Romagnoli and Carlos Bacca, while they did a commendable job in clearing deadwood too. However, they also neglected key areas and that has seemingly left them in trouble. The midfield has looked lightweight and lacking in creativity so far, and that will continue until the January transfer window at least given the options currently at Mihajlovic’s disposal.
Andrea Bertolacci is injured and is likely to miss out, meaning that either Juraj Kucka or Riccardo Montolivo will start in the centre of midfield. Other notable absentees from Milan’s side will include M’Baye Niang, Jeremy Menez and Luca Antonelli, who are all missing through injury. Japan’s Keisuke Honda or Giacomo Bonaventura will play the trequartista role just behind the striker in order to provide support to Adriano and Bacca. Milan fans will be excited at the prospect of seeing Balotelli once again, but it is thought that Mihajlovic will only introduce the forward in the latter stages of the game.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-3-1-2):Diego Lopez(Gk); Abate, Zapata, Romagnoli, De Sciglio; Kucka, Poli, De Jong; Bonaventura; Bacca, Luiz Adriano
- This will be the 163rd derby between Inter and AC Milan in Serie A: the Nerazzurri lead by 60 wins to 50.
- Between 2004 and 2008 both Mihajlovic and Mancini were involved in eight Serie A Milan Derbies, where both men featured on the Nerazzurro side of the pitch. Miha was an Inter player for Mancini in the first four and then moved up as his assistant.
- Inter have an impressive home record against Milan, being undefeated in 10 of their last 11 home matches in all competitions.
Players to Watch Out For
Stevan Jovetic (Inter Milan)
Manchester City loanee Stevan Jovetic grabbed the winning goal in the club’s opening-day victory over Atalanta, before going on to grab a brace against Carpi to seal a vital away victory for the Nerazzurri.
Carlos Bacca (AC Milan)
The Colombian striker has already shown that when given an opportunity he can be deadly in front of goal. He caused the Nerazzurri problems in pre-season, and he will be expected to continue to be a troublesome presence up front..
Inter Milan 2a 2 AC Milan
Neither defence looks solid early in the season and with both teams still settling and adjusting, a share of the spoils with goals is the most likely outcome. Despite the derby coming a bit too early for both coaches to have found their best respective formations, it is still a fixture of critical importance where the tone of the remainder of the season may be set.
Blast From the Past
Last seasona s corresponding fixture ended in a scoreless draw, which took place towards the end of a truly disappointing campaign for the celebrated duo.