AC Milan are only 1 point behind Serie A leaders Inter Milan after dropping points last week

Serie A: Scudetto Beckons for Milan Derby Winners

AC Milan vs Inter Milan

Before I go any further; I’m not suggesting Juventus’ hopes of making it a record tenth successive Scudetto are gone, but that whoever wins the big match of the weekend, Serie A: Milan vs Inter, has their destiny in their own hands.

Napoli beat Juventus last week to put a dent in the Old Lady’s title hopes, not a terminal one but serious enough to leave the reigning champions eight points off Inter Milan at the top, albeit with a game in hand. Bianconeri fans will be hoping for a draw at the San Siro to allow their team to claw a couple back, and the Milan vs Inter betting odds of 3.45, here at SBOTOP, suggest that is a genuine possibility.

But both AC and Inter Milan want to steal a march on their rivals while the fans, absent from the ground, long for the bragging rights as passionately as they always did.

 

Talking Points

Milan aim to make a quick recovery

A 2-0 defeat at the hands of new boys Spezia last week was a disastrous result for I Rossoneri. Head coach Stefano Pioli could hardly believe his eyes as the minnows dominated his all stars from start to finish, having 17 shots to 7 and four to none on target. To fail to register a single effort on target against a side delighted to rise to 14th in the table is not a statistic Pioli will like, particularly as the result meant his side had to give up the top spot they have held for so long to their city rivals.     

Veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been one of the main reasons for Milan’s success this campaign. He has 14 goals so far and is sure to be in the Milan vs Inter news during the Sunday clash as he attempts to chase down Juve’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Inter’s Romelu Lukaku in the race for the Capocannoniere.

24 year old attacking midfielder Franck Kessie is having another good season, scoring seven goals so far, while Turkish international Hakan Calhanoglu has been a dangerous supplier of ammunition. He climbed off the bench in Milan’s recent 4-0 victory over Crotone to make two assists, both for Croatian winger Ante Rebic, while Ibrahimovic also bagged a brace.

France wing back Theo Hernandez also made an assist in that game and he is proving to be another key man in his second season with I Rossoneri.

Pioli has the players to hurt Inter, but have they lost momentum at the crucial time?

 

Inter’s big chance

Head coach Antonio Conte knows this is Inter Milan’s best chance in years to win the Scudetto and having just taken top spot he will be desperate to hang on to it and retain a healthy advantage over Juventus. Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku was in brilliant form to overpower Lazio last week, scoring a first half brace and setting up his strike partner Lautaro Martinez for the third in a 3-1 victory.

That took Lukaku to 16 goals, alongside Ronaldo as the Serie A top scorer, while Martinez has made a big contribution with 11 goals. And Milan will be looking out for the pace of right wing back Achraf Hakimi, whose willingness to get forward and support his strikers is a real threat.

Can Christian Eriksen score another goal against AC Milan in Serie A?

Christian Eriksen celebrates after scoring the winning goal against AC Milan in Coppa Italia quarter-final

Conte has been willing to use his squad and has given plenty of game time to Chilean striker Alexis Sanchez, who has made five assists, and he has even welcomed creative midfielder Christian Eriksen in from the cold when it seemed likely the former Spurs man was on his way during the January transfer window.

 

History

The head to head competition between the two Milan giants has been nicely in the balance, Inter winning 26 to Milan’s 22, in all meetings since 1993, while there have been 17 draws.

Inter won the recent Coppa Italia clash 2-1 thanks to goals from Lukaku and Eriksen, who scored an injury time winner after Ibrahimovic had given I Rossoneri a first half lead.

But Milan were triumphant by the same score line in the Serie A derby earlier in the season.

Recent form favours I Nerazzurri who have won four of their last six games, drawing and losing one, and are unbeaten in five games away while Milan have won three and lost three of the last six.

 

Betting Tip

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AC Milan vs Inter Milan Inter Milan Asian Handicap -0.25 @ 1.80
February 21, 22:00 (GMT+8)

This is a really tough call to make with Inter the slight favourites at odds of 2.07 while Milan are at 3.40. Both sides have in-form match winners and, as a side issue, there is a rivalry for the Capocannoniere in this clash.

I think it’s going to be tight; but after Milan faltered last week I’m giving Inter a slight edge.

A SHORT EXPLANATION ON HOW OUR (??) BETS ARE WORTH:
?? = €20 (Highly confident) ?? = €10 (CONFIDENT) ?? = €5 (SOMEWHAT CONFIDENT)

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

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