The 28th round of Serie A will serve us with a Derby della Madonnina, which will see the city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan testing their strength against each other for the second time this season. The match will take place on March 17th at San Siro stadium in Milan.
Looking back at this season, Inter were sitting in the top 3 for most of this season, however, since all the drama surrounding their best striker Mauro Icardi started, their performance plummeted. To be fair, it’s hard to expect a team to work as a solid unit if the (former) captain of the team is not happy. To make the matter worse, Icardi was not only the captain of Inter, but he was also their best striker, who has now missed every match since the day his captain armband was taken from him. In other words, Icardi has not played a match since February 9th, which results in 4 Serie A matches. As it stands now, Inter are 4th in the Serie A with a 15-5-7 overall record and a 3-1-1 record in the last 5. Looking at their last 5 fixtures, Inter were defeated by a 14th placed Cagliari (2:1), managed to grab a point from 10th placed Fiorentina (3:3) and won against Parma (0:1), Sampdoria (2:1) and most recently against Spal (2:0). To put things into perspective, since Icardi got “injured”, Inter hold a record of 4-2-2 in all competitions and a 2-1-1 record in Serie A.
On the other side, their city rivals, AC Milan have had a completely different experience in the recent fixtures. While Inter were heading down the leaderboards, Milan are climbing up, with hopes of finishing in the top 4, which would get them back into the Champions League competition for the first time since 2012/13 season. As it stands now, Milan are sitting at 3rd place in Serie A, after passing Inter at the start of the month. Milan are coming into this match with 5 consecutive wins behind them and an incredible run of 8 unbeaten league fixtures to their name. Furthermore, they are enjoying a 9-4-1 record in the last 14 matches in Serie A and Coppa Italia combined. Looking at Milan recent 5 fixtures, they have defeated Cagliari (3:0), Atalanta (1:3), Empoli (3:0), Sassuolo (1:0) and Chievo (1:2). Now they will look to make it 6 in a row against their arch-rivals Inter who are just 1 point behind them on the leaderboard.
Inter will come into the next match without Miranda, Nainggolan, Icardi and Versaljko while Milan will miss Bonaventura and Zapata.
Inter will still miss their best striker without whom they are seemingly powerless. Not only have Inter underperformed against Fiorentina and Cagliari, but they have also been eliminated from Europa League competition after a disappointing performance against Eintracht Frankfurt, where they failed to score a single goal in both legs. On the other side, the departure of Gonzalo Higuain to Chelsea seemed like a disastrous move for Milan at first, however the new arrival Krzysztof Piatek proved to be a great replacement for the French striker. The Polish striker has been just phenomenal this season with 27 goals in 30 appearances in all competitions, combining goals for Genoa and Milan. If we draw a conclusion, Inter are in a terrible spot. While they are not a terrible team per se, the drama around Icardi surely took its toll on the team and players, who are not themselves, which can be seen in their performances. Milan on the other side are also not themselves this season. But in a good way. This season just might be the year they finally rejoin the European elite with a top 4 finish, which was avoiding them for the past 6 years. But first, they need to prove themselves in the upcoming match which will be highly important for both sides to win, as it would give one team much-needed points to remain in the top 4. All in all, the Rossoneri are in better form and had 5 more days to get ready compared to Inter, who are still licking their wounds from their recent elimination from Europa League. While the last H2H match ended in 1:0 win for Inter, they won’t have Icardi to save them with a final minute goal once again.
Prediction: AC Milan to win
Odds: 2.45 Pinnacle