Week 9: Inter – Milan

Follow the match as it happens, on the forum.

There isn’t much in terms of breaking news as far as on the pitch and injuries go, both teams meeting once again for the derby are relatively healthy with coach’s preferred lineups more or less easy guesses. Of course a Milan derby is anything but predictable and as the cliche goes will throw up the unexpected regardless of form. The 222nd derby will go a long way in setting the mood of the rest of the season as Milan try to get back into the top 4.

Milan’s disappointing start to the season may be behind us, at least we hope. Goal laden wins before the international break vs Chievo, Sassuolo and AEK Athens lifted the optimism, if only somewhat. The additional good news for Milan fans is the capture of Lucas Paqueta, the 21 years old Flamengo midfielder for around €35 million. The player is one of the better Brazilian prospects and his January 2019 arrival is all but official. Leonardo’s Brazilian connections have surely helped in this transfer but the team is still very much under UEFA’s Financial Fair Play watch and will be limited and will require creative accounting moving forward for years to come. There are also whispers about a new stadium but if that indeed happens, as opposed to a very possible prolonged stay at the San Siro, it will not be in the near future.

Back to the game at hand. Milan’s 4-3-3 will be challenged by the 4-2-3-1 often preferred by Inter’s Luciano Spalletti. The Nerazzurri with Mauro Icardi, Radja Nainggolan et al will create problems for Musacchio and Romagnoli and Higuain. Milan need the opportunism of the Argentine forward to beat Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij and Inter. Milan is still struggling in terms of midfield creativity so Suso and Calhanoglu’s movement between the wings and middle of the pitch will go a long way in dictating the outcome of this game. Biglia’s relative good form will of course be as crucial in the middle of the pitch.