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Preview: Inter Milan vs AC Milan – prediction, team news, line-ups

The San Siro forms the backdrop for the latest edition of the famous Derby della Madonnina as Inter Milan and AC Milan lock horns as Serie A joint-pacesetters on Saturday.

Both sides have enjoyed a stellar start to the 2023/24 campaign, winning all three league matches – a feat they last achieved in the same season in 1971/72 when each ominously failed to win the Scudetto. 

Simone Inzaghi’s side head into this new chapter of the long-standing Milan rivalry buzzing from a 4-0 humbling of Fiorentina on the stroke of September’s international break.

Marquee forward Lautaro Martinez bagged his second brace of the new campaign against La Viola, taking his tally to five goals from only three matches. 

Another noteworthy takeaway from that win was Marcus Thuram’s first Serie A goal, with the Frenchman opening the scoring with a diving header before serving Martinez on a silver platter with a delightful through ball.

While Thuram had to wait for matchday three to open his account for Inter, his Milan counterpart Christian Pulisic started to deliver the goods from the get-go.

The United States captain scored on his Serie A debut to inspire the Rossoneri to a 2-1 victory at Bologna before drawing first blood in a thumping 4-1 home triumph over Torino on day two.

Pulisic failed to maintain his free-scoring start to life in Italy in a hard-earned 2-1 win at Roma last time out, but Rafael Leao took matters into his own hands.  

One of Europe’s most sought-after forwards got off the mark in 2023/24 with a stunning volley after Olivier Giroud netted his fourth goal across the opening three rounds. 

Match Preview

We highlighted Inter as the likeliest candidates, alongside Milan, to dethrone Napoli in our 2023/24 Serie A season preview, and they’ve repaid our trust thus far.

Inzaghi’s men have won all three league matches this term via multi-goal margins and without scoring, convincing the Meazza hierarchy to reward their manager with a new contract. 

The ex-Lazio coach will look to show his gratitude to his superiors with another derby win, and given his recent managerial record against Milan, he has every reason for optimism.

He has led Inter to four consecutive triumphs over the Rossoneri in all competitions, including a 3-0 aggregate win in last season’s Champions League semi-finals. 

Despite failing to score in those four losses against the Nerazzurri, Milan will be confident about bucking that trend on Saturday following a free-scoring start to the season.

In addition to netting 2+ goals in all three Serie A games, Stefano Pioli’s side have broken the deadlock within the opening 15 minutes of play on two occasions.

Pioli’s frontline will have to step up in this fixture, considering his backline hasn’t fared well in the early season, failing to keep a clean sheet in all three top-flight contests.

But if the 2021/22 Scudetto-winning manager can find a balance between his free-flowing attack and porous defence, Milan could be looking at only their second four-game unbeaten Serie A start since 1995/96.

Team News

Inter will enter this mouth-watering clash with every first-team player, barring Juan Cuadrado and Francesco Acerbi, fully fit.

Milan coach Pioli isn’t as lucky as his Nerazzurri counterpart Inzaghi, with Ismael Bennacer, Pierre Kalulu and potentially Olivier Giroud expected to miss out on the derby day.

Fikayo Tomori is a definite absentee after receiving a red card against Roma.

Inter Milan potential starting line-up:

(3-5-2): Yann Sommer; Matteo Darmian, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Hakan Calhanoglu, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Federico Dimarco; Marcus Thuram, Lautaro Martinez.

AC Milan potential starting line-up:

(4-3-3): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Malick Thiaw, Simon Kjaer, Theo Hernandez; Ruben Loftus-Cheek, Rade Krunic, Tijjani Reijnders; Christian Pulisic, Noah Okafor, Rafael Leao. 

We Say: Inter Milan 1-1 AC Milan

While Inter have assumed complete control of the recent H2H history, this new-look Milan side have shown plenty of promise, indicating they could turn the tables. 

But we expect an evenly-contested battle in the middle of the park that would likely lead to a draw.

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