Inter vs Milan: Serie A Preview, Potential Lineups & Prediction

Stadio Giuseppe Meazza forms the backdrop for a heavyweight Serie A top-four six-pointer between arch-rivals Inter and Milan on Sunday night. The 178th top-flight edition of the famous Derby della Madonnina will have a significant ride on the keenly-contested race for Champions League placings. 

Last weekend’s come-from-behind 2-1 triumph at basement boys Cremonese, coupled with Milan’s slip-up to Sassuolo, saw Inter become Napoli’s closest challengers. But a staggering 13 points separate the Nerazzurri from the runaway leaders. And with Luciano Spalletti’s men heading to Spezia, the gap could be larger by the time they kick off against their bitter rivals. 

Matteo Darmian scored a match-winning second-half strike to inspire Inter to a 1-0 home win over Atalanta in the midweek Coppa Italia quarter-finals, setting his team up nicely for this mammoth encounter. Simone Inzaghi’s side will be out to make amends for an action-packed 3-2 defeat in the reverse fixture in September and avoid three straight top-flight H2H losses for the first time since 2004.

Truth be told, Inter have already inflicted their revenge on Milan by trouncing the Rossoneri 3-0 in the Supercoppa Italiana in January. That disappointment forms part of the reigning Serie A champions’ horrendous run of six straight winless matches (D2, L4), bookended by an embarrassing 5-2 home defeat to Sassuolo last weekend. 

Since launching the new calendar year with a 2-1 win at Salernitana, Stefano Pioli’s men have gone winless in four consecutive league outings (D2, L2). As a result, they start this round outside the top four, although they’re level on points with third-placed Lazio. But another underwhelming result could make things awkward for Milan. 



Inter boast the joint second-highest points haul on home soil in Serie A this season (24) despite being on the receiving end of a 1-0 scoreline against mid-table Empoli in their last home league game. Inzaghi’s men have won 80% of their top-flight matches at Meazza in 2022/23 (W8, L2), though they did go down 2-1 in this corresponding fixture in 2021/22. 

While three sides hold a better scoring record on home turf than Inter (21) this term, the Nerazzurri have defensively outperformed their rivals, conceding a league-low five home goals thus far. That bodes well for Inzaghi’s lads as they aim to keep Milan at bay in a top-flight home H2H for the first time since 2018.

Player to Watch: Lautaro Martinez

After scoring a winning goal at Cremonese last weekend, Inter talisman Lautaro Martinez will be looking to maintain his stellar form against Milan. The Argentine has scored in six Milan derby fixtures, making the Rossoneri his second-favorite opposition. 


Despite being only nominal visitors in this showdown, Milan will be all too aware of their stuttering away form, having won just one of their last five league games as a traveling side (D2, L2). It’s also worth noting that they conceded 2+ goals three times across those five matches, highlighting the potential for another frustrating weekend. 

But there’s a piece of history up for grabs as Milan could register their first Serie A double over Inter since 2010/11. At the same time, the Rossoneri are staring down the barrel of four consecutive defeats in all competitions for the first time since February 2017. Conceding first may lead them in that direction, with Pioli’s team going winless in all five away league contests after shipping the opening goal this season (D2, L3). 

Player to Watch: Olivier Giroud

Veteran striker Olivier Giroud has scored in his first two appearances in the Derby della Madonnina. He could become the first Milan player to score in their opening three top-flight games against Inter in the three-points-for-a-win era. 

Team News

Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar, and Nicolo Barella are all back after serving a suspension, while Marcelo Brozovic and Samir Handanovic left their long-term fitness problems behind to at least make the bench. 

In addition to Mike Maignan, Alessandro Florenzi, and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Milan will be without Ismael Bennacer and Fikayo Tomori, as both players picked up injuries in 2023. 

Inter vs Milan Potential Line-ups

Inter (3-5-2): Andre Onana; Milan Skriniar, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Matteo Darmian, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko. 

Milan (4-2-3-1): Ciprian Tatarusanu; Davide Calabria, Pierre Kalulu, Simon Kjaer, Theo Hernandez; Tommaso Pobega, Sandro Tonali; Rade Krunic, Alexis Saelemaekers, Rafael Leao; Olivier Giroud. 

Inter vs Milan Prediction

It’s hard to see Milan rallying for this fixture following their massive dip in form since the turn of the year as we back Inter to return to the win column in Serie A H2Hs.

Prediction: Inter Win 

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