• Milan-Inter: Five factors that could decide the derby

    Milan-Inter: Five factors that could decide the derby

    The Derby della Madonnina is a titanic tussle that always seems to live up to expectations and this season, with both Milan and Inter going through major transition both on and off the pitch. The final outcome of the this season's double-header, could carry more weight than it has for many years. 

    This will be the 217th meeting in all competitions, with Milan producing a dominant 3-0 victory over their great rivals last time out. For the sake of Italian football, it is vital these teams can return to being the European heavyweights they once were. Recent history suggests the game will be a tight affair; in their last 6 meetings, both sides have shared two wins each, the other two ending in parity.  Here are five key factors that could decide the outcome of this latest instalment:

    Despite both teams sharing the San Siro, Milan being the home side does have its advantages. The home team has not lost in this match since 2012 and Milan have only lost once in their own backyard this season. Inter have been defeated four times on the road and have not won away since September. 


    After the revelations in his recent autobiography, Mauro Icardi may no longer be the golden boy in the eyes of some of the Nerazzurri faithful, however, it cannot be denied that he has carried this team so far this campaign with 10 goals to his name in the league. Without his goals, the club could already be cut adrift from the main contenders for Champions League places. His commitment to the cause is second to none and he recently signed a new deal and he is the man Inter need in this match. He has not scored against Milan in seven games (his longest drought against any other Serie A club), but the Argentines two goals against Crotone last time out, has given him and the team a much needed boost. If he is on form, Inter could come away with all three points. 

    Milan-Inter: Five factors that could decide the derby

    3.    THE DEFENCE:

    You can’t mention the attack without looking at the defence. Milan have a tendency to lose games they should win and any slip-up from the back could prove costly. The hosts look set to be without Alessio Romagnoli on Sunday due to injury, an omission which will leave a gaping hole in the heart of the side. Arguably one of their best player's so far this season, Inter, with the quality of Ever Banega, will look to capitalise on his absence. Last season Inter had the 3rd best defence record in the league but look vulnerable this season. The nerazzurri have conceded one less than Milan this season and if new boss Pioli can get the defence organised, they will be tough to break down. 

    Milan-Inter: Five factors that could decide the derby

    As stated earlier, this game will almost certainly be a close run affair. Both teams not wanting to lose the bragging rights in the city and testing the keeper from range may have to be an option at some stage. This gives Milan the edge because they lead are top of Serie A for goals scored outside of the penalty area. 


    Over the years both clubs have fielded some of the most experienced and consistent performers in the game; Milan’s average age was amongst the highest in Europe when they won the Champions League in 2007. Now their agenda has changed and Montella has constructed a team full exciting young talent which has been influential in their title challenge. Players such as Niang, Suso and Locatelli are expected to play and of course, 17-year-old Gigio Donnarumma has been a revelation in goal. Taking their opponents fragility at the back into account, the one thing Inter will fear the most, is to have to have to match the fitness levels of Montella's young guns. 

    Milan-Inter: Five factors that could decide the derby

    Reece Hainesborough

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