Week 4: Derby Della Madonnina

Inter – Milan Saturday September 16 2023 18:00CET

The Milan derby is happening relatively early in the 2023-2024 Serie A season. The teams are meeting on a high with both starting the season with three wins to sit jointly atop of the table. The teams are however not following an identical formula. Inter continue to seek out more established names in the transfer window. The likes of Benjamin Pavard and Yann Sommer and even arguably Marcus Thuram differ from the market strategy that Milan has taken. Milan’s summer 2023 transfer activity resembled more of a reset with the average age of the 10 newcomers being under 24 years.

This derby follows an early season international break and as is customary several players return injured or not 100%. Giroud was substituted early in his country’s match versus Ireland. Late word is that he is going to be ok but if he is deemed not ready newcomer Luka Jovic could deputize. Kalulu is also on the injured list but this time the injury occurred while training at milanello. Therefore the back four is going to be an issue because Tomori received two yellows in week 3’s match at Roma and is suspended for this match. Kjaer and Thiaw look to be the partnership with Calabria and Theo as fullbacks.

Milan’s recent record versus Inter has been poor at best and it is hoped that the switch to a three man midfield of Krunic, Reijnders and Loftus-Cheek can better deal with Simone Inzaghi and Inter’s five man midfield. Inter have managed to outman and outplay Milan through the middle. Pioli and Milan will have to reverse this recent trend that has meant only two wins in last 10 meetings between the two.

Leao and Pulisic should continue to start on the wings with the latter creating an early name for himself and becoming one of the faces of the team on and off the pitch. Marcus Thuram and Lautaro Martinez will be a handful for Milan’s defence.

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