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The win at Palermo, with Pasalic finally getting a start, was again less than impressive and again featured a spectacular goal, this time it was hardworking sub Lapadula cheekily diverting Suso’s low shot into the far corner, this after the Spaniard had opened the scoring himself. Ilija Nestorovski had tied it in between the two Milan goals and the game had been on and off at best. The importance of these three points can be highlighted when seen in direct comparison to the struggles versus similarly placed team during the 2015-2016 season. Last season Milan dropped many valuable points against the likes of Verona and Carpi. The team owes its current third placed standing to winning such games.
The latest edition of the Milan derby comes after an international break, a time when Milan often seem unprepared, whether it be due to the the layoff or the tiredness of players returning from international duty. One key member of the team who would usually be most affected by any fatigue is Bacca but in the latest installment of the break he played a grand total of 14 minutes for Colombia in their 2 games vs Argentina and Chile.
Inter started the season once again expecting more and with a new coach in Frank de Boer. Their early season games included beating Juventus, but it has been mostly downhill and de Boer hasn’t even survived the team’s downfall. Now in a somewhat underwhelming choice it is up to Stefano Piolo, he formerly of Lazio, Bologna and many others, to try to limit the damage. Perhaps of greater impact is and will be Walter Samuel joining Inter’s ‘backroom staff’.
Meanwhile Milan looks to be closing in on finally being sold to the Chinese but even this late there are questions as to who is really buying the team but it is expected to be a done deal in December. Meanwhile incoming CEO Fassone and sporting director Mirabelli seem to be preparing for the sale with the latter travelling and watching many games across Europe.
In player news Donnarumma will have Mino Raiola as his agent as soon as he turns 18. The infamous agent is already talking up his future but one thing is certain and that is Donnarumma will need to stay a Milan player and his progress will be more than welcome in many derbies to come.
Elsewhere Romagnoli is going to miss the derby after hurting his groin on international duty vs Germany but otherwise the starting 11 will likely remain predictable and that includes Bacca keeping his spot ahead of Lapadula. Suso and Niang will start up front with the Milan number 70. Kucka, Locatelli and Bonaventura will be in midfield and Abate, Paletta, Gomez and De Sciglio get the nod at the back.