With Inter undefeated in their last four matches and AC Milan’s form dipping as of late the rescheduling of the Derby della Madonnina could work in the Nerazzurri’s favour.
The derby was rescheduled due to the unfortunate and untimely passing of Fiorentina captain Davide Astori on March 4.
This past weekend’s fixtures, Inter getting a 3-0 win against Hellas Verona, and Milan losing 3-1 away to Juventus, are an indication of how the two Milan teams have been moving in different directions in recent times.
Milan had been unbeaten in their previous 13 matches in all competitions leading up to the original date of their clash with Inter, but with only two wins in their last five matches another turning point in their season has been reached. In addition, both of those wins, over Genoa and Chievo, came courtesy of last gasp winners by Andre Silva.
Their defence, which has been much improved since Gattuso took over, has looked especially shaky, conceding eight goals in their last three matches. Milan need Leonardo Bonucci and Alessio Romagnoli, who may miss the match, back on form as they look to contain Inter’s attack which has been clicking nicely over the past month.
Inter on the other hand have been flying as of late with only one loss in their last 11 matches, though the recent victories over Sampdoria and Verona were brought about by a side which had regained its early season confidence.
A win in the derby will see the Nerazzurri move back into third place and put them 11 points up on Milan, which would also almost certainly end any Champions League qualification hopes of their rivals.
While goals have been flowing thanks to 100-goal man Mauro Icardi, Inter’s defence has also been in superb form keeping cleansheets over their last four games, including a goalless draw with second place Napoli. Joao Miranda and Milan Skriniar have formed a formidable partnership at the back and Milan will need to break past that Nerazzurri wall if they are to have any chance of a win.
That backline is complimented by a midfield reborn over the last month. Marcelo Brozovic has become pivotal, and Roberto Gagliardini enhancing his attacking prowess – alomost – given he should have had at least four goals at the weekend, but for poor finishing.
However, the link and key is Rafinha. who has added a footballing brain to the final third of the pitch, making the bullets which Ivan Perisic, more often than not, fires in the direction of Icardi, Serie A’s most deadly combination. The Argentinian and Croatian have been involved in all eight of Inter’s goals in their last two games.
With Inter firing on all cylinders as of late and Milan seemingly falling back, though maybe not as much, to their pre-Gattuso form, a win for the Rossoneri looks a bigger ask than it did a month ago. Thus, the rescheduling of the derby could work wonders for Inter as they continue to try and cement their top four position and keep their city rivals out of Europe’s most prestigious competition next season.
Nevertheless, a derby is a derby of course and as many know form is thrown out the window, but of the two sides it’s the red and black half of Milan that are much more in need of the win than Inter, who would probably be happy with a draw if that were to be the end result.