Inter Milan vs AC Milan
It’s been a long time since AC Milan have been legitimate Serie A title contenders. Their decline for the better part of the decade also opened the door for fierce rivals Inter to dominate the Derby della Madonnina. However, that could all finally change this season.
AC Milan currently find themselves up at the top of the Serie A table thanks to three wins out of three, as well as a flawless defensive record.
And now, the in-form Rossoneri have a great chance to extend their perfect record — and end their rivals’ recent run of derby success — as they take on an Inter side dealing with a rash of COVID-19 cases that is likely to leave them shorthanded.
Inter dealing with COVID outbreak
Inter Milan have picked up right where they left off after last season’s restart. The Nerazzurri have remained a much more attacking side than past Antonio Conte teams, and after scoring 81 goals last season (second only to Atalanta in the league), they’ve already got 10 goals in three games this campaign.
The strike partnership of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez has gotten off to a sensational start. Both have already scored three goals each in Serie A and have continued that fine form during the international break. Lukaku added three more goals in two Nations League games for Belgium, while Lautaro scored in Argentina’s World Cup qualifying win over Bolivia.
The Chilean duo of Alexis Sanchez and Arturo Vidal also scored during the recent South American World Cup qualifiers.
Meanwhile, marquee summer signing Achraf Hakimi has fit seamlessly into Inter’s system. The wing-back already has a goal and two assists in three games for his new team.
However, fellow wing-back Ashley Young will be out of the derby after becoming the sixth Inter player to test positive for COVID-19 over the past week.
Defenders Alessandro Bastoni and Milan Skriniar, midfielders Radja Nainggolan and Roberto Gagliardini, and backup goalkeeper Ionuț Radu have also contracted the virus, although recent Serie A 2020 updates indicate Bastoni could still feature in the derby.
Inter’s defence has already looked quite shaky this season with six goals conceded, and the potential absence of both Bastoni and Skriniar, as well as Gagliardini in midfield, would be a huge blow to their backline.
AC Milan off to flying start
AC Milan’s decision to make Stefano Pioli their manager on a permanent basis seems to be paying off as they have carried over their impressive late-season form over to the start of this campaign.
Not only have they won their first three games, putting them joint-top with Atalanta, but they’ve also yet to concede a single goal thus far.
The Serie A 2020 betting odds currently have them as fourth-favourites to win the title behind Juventus, Inter, and Atalanta, although that could soon change if they continue their fine form.
Granted, Milan’s first few opponents — Bologna, bottom-club Crotone, and newly promoted Spezia — haven’t been the strongest, but their progress under Pioli remains promising.
Milan, who are famous for having some legendary defenders over the years, don’t have the top talent at the back in this year’s squad, but Pioli has still made it work.
The centre of midfield has been the side’s major strength, with Franck Kessie, Sandro Tonali, and Ismael Bennacer offering ample support to that defence.
Like Inter, AC Milan have also been hit with positive COVID-19 results. Centre-backs Leo Duarte and Matteo Gabbia are the only two players to test positive thus far.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic also tested positive, but he has since recovered and looks set to be available for the derby. Zlatan has only featured in one match thus far this season. He scored both goals in Milan’s 2-0 win over Bologna.
However, Milan will likely still be without forward Ante Rebic, who has missed the last few weeks due to a dislocated elbow.
In the 225 all-time Milan derby matches between these Italian giants, Inter hold the slight edge in with 82 wins to Milan’s 76. The two sides have also drawn 67 times.
However, Inter have simply dominated Milan in recent derbies. The Nerazzurri have won their last four meetings in a row and are undefeated in their last eight (five wins, three draws).
In their last meeting, Milan were 2-0 up heading into half-time, but Inter mounted a stunning second-half comeback to win 4-2.
Milan’s last win over their rivals was all the way back in 2016. The Rossoneri have just two wins against Inter in their last 18 meetings, with six draws and 10 defeats.
|Inter Milan vs AC Milan||AC Milan Asian Handicap +0.25 @ 1.97|
|October 18, 00:00 (GMT+8)|
SBOTOP odds have Inter as slight 2.28 favourites to beat Milan, who are priced at 3.00 to win. Meanwhile, a draw is at 3.35.
The smart play here is clearly AC Milan on the Asian Handicap. Inter are expected to miss 2-3 starters, including some key defenders, which will weaken an already unsteady defence.
Milan are playing so well at the moment and can keep things tight at the back to force a draw at least. But with Inter’s recent issues at the back, a Rossoneri win is also a distinct possibility. Either result would win money on the Asian Handicap, which is why that’s the way to go.
|A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR () BETS ARE WORTH:|
|= €20 (Highly confident)||= €10 (CONFIDENT)||= €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)|
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