Wednesday evening sees a Derby della Madonnina that tastes like Champions League, or at least it will for one of Inter or AC Milan.
Postponed after the tragic death of Davide Astori, the clash between Gennaro Gattuso and Luciano Spalletti will be crucial for the battle to get fourth spot in Serie A and reach the promised land of the Champions League.
Both teams are pretty much in the same position as they were a month ago, but the morale among the two teams has changed a lot. Inter were approaching the derby at the beginning of March almost in crisis, after going eight games in a row without a win.The defeat in the Coppa Italia against the Rossoneri, the burning loss against Genoa at Stadio Ferraris were all signs of a team struggling to find its way.
Ivan Perisic and Mauro Icardi, now stronger than ever, were a poor imitation of the players we saw at the beginning of the season. Antonio Candreva and Borja Valero were struggling to stay in form, and Rafinha wasn’t fit enough to play at an acceptable level for an entire 90 minutes. Since then, the Nerazzurri have drawn against Napoli, beat both Sampdoria and Verona, caught Lazio then overtook them to take back fourth spot in Serie A.
AC Milan, on the other hand, went into March on a run of 13 games without defeat, with the Patrick Cutrone becoming Gattuso’s most lethal weapon.
Hakan Calhanoglu, Leonardo Bonucci, Lucas Biglia, Franck Kessie, and Davide Calabria were all shining under the guidance of Gattuso, bringing home crucial victories like those against Lazio and Roma. Since then, the Rossoneri lost against Arsenal in Europa League, the same happened in Turin against Juventus, as well as and struggling wins against Genoa and Chievo.
Losing the derby would most certainly mean an end to any hopes of Champions League qualificaion, and without Biglia, who is suspended, and the duo of Andre Silva and Nikola Kalinic not at their best, the Diavolo will need to put on their best Diesel suit to show Serie A they weren’t just a one month wonder.