Milan vs Inter Milan Preview and Lineups – Serie A Round 12

The 175th Serie A edition of the famous Derby della Madonnina, one of football’s greatest rivalries, pits Milan against Inter Milan. The long-time tenants of the San Siro will trade tackles on Sunday night, and it’s time to preview the game and take a look at the expected lineups.

Milan failed to inflict revenge on Porto in midweek, eking out a 1-1 home draw in their Champions League encounter. Though they are now on the verge of waving goodbye to Europe’s elite competition, the Rossoneri have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with in Serie A this season.

In the meantime, Inter, who have performed in patches under new boss Simone Inzaghi, swept away Sheriff Tiraspol with a comprehensive 3-1 win in midweek Champions League action. An all-important European victory was a follow-up on a brace of 2-0 domestic wins over Empoli and Udinese, setting the Nerazzurri up nicely for this showdown.

Milan vs Inter Milan Head-to-Head

The all-time Serie A H2H stakes in this long-term rivalry is on Inter’s side, with the Nerazzurri beating Milan in 67 of their previous 174 top-flight encounters in the top-flight (D55, L52). More importantly, the defending champions have come out victorious in five of their last six league matches against the Rossoneri (L1), netting 14 goals while conceding only six in return.

What’s more, Inter have scored 246 goals against Milan in Serie A, more than any other side has managed to do in the competition. The Rossoneri have lost 64 games against bitter rivals in Italy’s top-flight, with only Juventus inflicting as many defeats on the seven-time European champions in the competition. 

A run of three consecutive victories as nominal visitors also underlines Inter’s recent dominance of the Derby della Madonnina, especially considering the last two have come by 2+ goals ‘to nil.’ If they win here, it would be the first time since 1934 that the Nerazzurri have defeated Milan in four successive Serie A meetings as nominal visitors. 

Interestingly, despite the tension bursting at the seams whenever these two sides lock horns, none of the last 15 editions of the Derby della Madonnina have witnessed a red card. 

Milan Form Preview

It’s hard to remember the last time Milan were in better shape ahead of the cross-town derby. Stefano Pioli’s men have hit the ground running in Serie A this season, racking up a staggering ten triumphs from 11 league fixtures to date (D1). Alongside Napoli, they are the only Serie A side to have managed that feat this term.

The Rossoneri go into proceedings on the back of seven consecutive league victories, last winning eight in a row in 2006 under Carlo Ancelotti. Five of those seven wins have come by a narrow one-goal margin, highlighting Milan’s ability to prevail in tight, eagerly-contested affairs, which could be of paramount importance in this fixture.

This kind of clash is where the form guide often goes out of the window, making space for pride, determination, and passion to take over. Milan won’t have to look beyond their 2-1 away success against Roma last time out for inspiration, as Pioli’s men made up for being a man down to preserve a hard-earned lead at the Stadio Olimpico with a combative, spirited approach.

Yet, Theo Hernandez’s expulsion in Rome, coupled with Mike Maignan’s long-term injury, could leave last season’s Serie A runners-up exposed at the back. That said, Pioli’s players have shown defensive resilience at home lately, winning three of their last four top-flight games here without conceding.

Player to watch: Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has often been Milan’s hero against Inter, having netted six goals in as many Serie A derbies against the arch-rivals. 

Though he’s been struggling with injuries this season, the 40-year-old has been his side’s X-Factor when fit, with his sublime free-kick against Roma the latest evidence of his talismanic impact.

Inter Milan Form Preview

Inter look close to their best again, overcoming a rough patch that saw them go two straight Serie A matches without a victory (D1, L1). Back-to-back top-flight triumphs in the build-up to this fixture have helped the Nerazzurri maintain a six-point deficit on pacesetters Napoli and Milan. 

Those successes represent a massive defensive improvement on Inter’s previous displays, as they’ve gone from eight consecutive Serie A games without a clean sheet to two registering two shutouts in a row. Having found the winning formula at the back, the Nerazzurri will be looking to extend their recent dominance of this timeless rivalry. 

And while they’ve struggled to keep their opponents at bay, the reigning Italian champions have been ruthless up top this term. Inzaghi’s men have netted a league-high 28 Serie A goals so far, scoring 2+ goals in all but two of their 11 top-flight fixtures this season. Particularly prolific beyond half-time, they’ve recorded a clear majority (69.23%) of their Serie A away goals bagged thus far in the second half of play (9/13).

Inter’s free-scoring form is quite impressive, considering they had to sell the primary source of goals, Romelu Lukaku, to Chelsea in the summer. Unlike his Milan counterpart, Inzaghi will have almost his entire starting XI fit and firing, including the Belgian’s successor Edin Dzeko. 

Player to watch: Edin Dzeko

Dzeko may be gearing up for his first Milan derby, but the Bosnian is well versed in scoring against the Rossoneri at the San Siro. The veteran forward bagged five Serie A goals against Milan during his career at Roma, four of which came at this venue. 

The 35-year-old has enjoyed a stunning start to life at Inter, tallying seven goals and two assists in his inaugural 11 Serie A appearances for the new club. 

Milan vs Inter Milan Predicted Line-ups

Milan (4-2-3-1): Ciprian Tatarusanu; Pierre Kalulu, Simon Kjaer, Fikayo Tomori, Davide Calabria; Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie; Alexis Saelemaekers, Brahim Diaz, Rafael Leao; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

Inter Milan (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skrinian, Alessandro Bastoni; Matteo Darmina, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Perisic; Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko.