NEWS
Sunday December 22 2013
Line-ups: Inter-Milan

The last Serie A game of 2013 is the massive Milan Derby, as Mario Balotelli, Kaka and Riccardo Saponara face Rodrigo Palacio and Fredy Guarin.

It kicks off at San Siro at 19.45 GMT, click here for a match preview.

Both sides are stuttering somewhat this season and want to end the year on a positive note, so what better Christmas gift could there be than to beat their local rivals?

It is the first Derby della Madonnina for Inter Coach Walter Mazzarri and new President Erick Thohir, who will be in the stands after flying in from Indonesia.

Ricky Alvarez is suspended with Diego Milito and Cristian Chivu injured, so 40-year-old Javier Zanetti steps in to the midfield with Saphir Taider.

Guarin supports Palacio in what could be the Colombian’s final game before he is sold to Chelsea in the January transfer window.

Rolando is picked ahead of Andrea Ranocchia in the back three.

Milan must do without the banned Riccardo Montolivo and injured Robinho, Stephan El Shaarawy, Matias Silvestre, Ignazio Abate, Marco Amelia and Valter Birsa.

Balotelli has never scored against Inter since leaving the club, but starts up front with Ricky Kaka and surprise starter Saponara to complete the Christmas Tree formation.

It's a shock for Saponara, as the Under-21 international has barely featured this season, making two substitute appearances for a grand total of 24 minutes. It was his 22nd birthday yesterday and this evening he makes his first competitive start in a Milan jersey.

Andrea Poli comes into the midfield for Montolivo and Kevin Constant starts as Urby Emanuelson is not 100 per cent fit.

Philippe Mexes is again dropped in favour of Daniele Bonera alongside Cristian Zapata.

Milan are undefeated in five rounds, albeit with only one victory, while Inter picked up three draws and last week’s 4-2 defeat to Napoli leading up to this game.

The Derby hasn’t gone to the Rossoneri since April 2011, scraping one point from their next four meetings.

The Inter ultras weren’t going to be allowed into the Curva Nord until Friday, when the club won an appeal to have the ban suspended pending further investigation into ‘discriminatory’ anti-Neapolitan chants.

There was more trouble with the supporters this morning, as authorities suddenly decided to ban Milan ultras from bringing their choreography into the Curva Sud.

In solidarity with their counterparts, the Inter fans will also shelve their choreography for the big game.

Inter: Handanovic; Campagnaro, Rolando, Juan Jesus; Jonathan, Taider, Cambiasso, Zanetti, Nagatomo; Guarin; Palacio

Inter bench: Carrizo, Castellazzi, Ranocchia, Andreolli, Samuel, Pereira, Kovacic, Mudingayi, Icardi, Belfodil, Kuzmanovic, Wallace

Milan: Abbiati; De Sciglio, Bonera, Zapata, Constant; Poli, De Jong, Muntari; Saponara, Kaka; Balotelli

Milan bench: Gabriel, Coppola, Zaccardo, Mexes, Emanuelson, Cristante, Nocerino, Pazzini, Matri

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