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Friday March 2 2018
Mirroring Milan clubs

When Milan toiled, Inter triumphed, and vice versa, as Richard Hall prepares for an unpredictable Derby della Madonnina

Last September in Milan, it was all so different. The sun shone in Piazza Duomo, the streets bustled and the whole city was in love with football. The sport was fashionable again as supporters from both the Nerazzurri and the Rossoneri looked at their clubs and smiled. Both had different but extremely exciting plans in place, projects that promised so much, Europe, silverware and dare one say, the Scudetto?

Fast forward to February and it seems both have hit top form, and both have collapsed and oddly they still could finish the season with pride. So much of this, however, will depend on the result in the Derby Della Madonnina. This is always an unpredictable affair, but this time it'd take a brave man to suggest Serie A betting tips.

Inter had finally looked like their time had come. Not for the Scudetto, even the ‘Pazza’ fans knew deep down this was perhaps a step too far, but as they entered December, they did lead the table. Napoli and Juventus were scratching their heads as Luciano Spalletti had achieved something quite remarkable. His team were undefeated, had obliterated Chievo and then earned a credible draw with Juventus. The Champions League was the ultimate goal, and this now looked like it would be the worst outcome the season could offer.

With no European competition, Spalletti had achieved much with a full pre-season and a starting XI that changed little. The defence with Milan Skriniar looked formidable, Matias Vecino, Roberto Gagliardini and Borja Valero were performing in midfield and Mauro Icardi was simply being his lethal self.  The former Roma Coach had not reinvented the wheel, but he was getting the best out of his players. Danilo D’Ambrosio, for instance, looked superb and with Udinese and Sassuolo up next, what could go wrong?

The answer was everything. A 3-1 defeat to the Zebrette was followed up with a 1-0 loss to the Neroverdi and after this, their confidence imploded. This happened with such ferocity that it offered up the question whether the team ever considered themselves as contenders for the Scudetto or even Europe in the first place.

Nobody could have expected what happened next, as the following games offered up five draws, although wins against Bologna and Benevento sandwiched another poor defeat against Genoa. Now Inter face the Derby with trepidation.

So, what of Milan in this time? Back in September the €200m spent had brought a UEFA record 65,763 spectators to watch a Europa League qualifier and the Milanese waiters were talking of an era to warrant that of Arrigo Sacchi being on the horizon. Whilst Vincenzo Montella chopped and changed his line up, the Rossoneri did produce some good results, winning three out of the first four, but then it all went wrong.

A lack of cohesion, defensive instability with changing formations and the lack of goals offered up from Andre Silva and Nikola Kalinic saw them lose five, draw twice and win only two in that time. By November 27, Montella was gone and in came Gennaro Gattuso. Both fans and the media scratched their heads as the new era began.

Incredibly Milan’s new start coincided with Inter’s fall from grace. Since the November 27, Milan have won seven, drawn three and lost only twice. It’s hard to remember now, but up until December 16, Inter were top of the table. Whilst many had scoffed at Gattuso when he arrived as his ‘fire and brimstone’ approach was seen as archaic, the results have spoken for themselves and now even the football is looking attractive, something the new Coach never promised. He instead had said that his Milan were ‘full of zits’ and would never be ‘Brad Pitt’, yet against Sampdoria and then Roma they were positively gorgeous.

Ironically his approach was similar to that of Spalletti’s earlier in the season, a consistent line-up and a well-drilled back line. His goal drought has been filled by Como born Milanista Patrick Cutrone, a youngster who the Coach has kept faith with to spearhead his attack.

As the Derby Della Madonnina looms around the corner, there is a feeling that it is critical for both to gain a victory. Milan are seven points off Inter in fourth, who with 51 points are still ahead of Roma and occupy the final Champions League spot. It is remarkable that whilst the Nerazzurri toiled the Rossoneri succeeded, and vice versa. However, for either to challenge seriously for Europe’s most prestigious competition, they must hit a winning streak. The Derby will provide that initial platform, and will no doubt be one of the most heavily contested in many years.

Have your say...
OUTSTANDING MAGIC OUT OF THIS WORLD

One of the most "GODIBILE" victory of all times !!!

NOI SIAMO LA JUVENTUS
on the 3rd March, 2018 at 9:01pm
Hahahahahahahahahahahaha ;o)

LOL

For ALL you losers only the bitter pill of many defeats!
on the 3rd March, 2018 at 1:33pm
Whoever Wins will shut lots of mouths

Forza INTER!
on the 3rd March, 2018 at 2:10am
@CARPE DIEM

WTF has Juve to do with a post about a Milan derby?? STICK TO THE TOPIC.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 10:39pm
@ CARPE DIEM: Juve got the "7th" already when they LOST their 7th European Cup final! lol
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 6:29pm
@CrapeDime - we already know your club has strong Scudetto pedigree. But can you finally win in Europe?

Derby is not any other game in Serie A. It’s a different beast. Sure, on paper form may favor one team over another, but I wouldn’t discount Inter quite so easily. Sure I hope Milan demolishes them in Gattuso’s first derby as a coach. What an opportunity to bestow his fire and hunger onto this Milan! But Inter is Inter, and as unpredictable as they are, you never know what you can get!
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 6:10pm
Very clear to all the pundits that mighty Juventus have a super formidable squad.

The sheer presence of TOP PLAYERS in the Juventus side and the power of their 25 best players make them unique in Serie A.

That's why they are known around the World as the Italian giants Juventus.

FORZA!
GIVE US THE 7th !!!
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 4:34pm
This could be the best Derby della Madonnina in years! It is so vital for both teams, Milan to continue their great run before the crucial EL versus Arsenal, for Inter, to re-establish themselves in the CL hunt with a win over their rivals....I think it is more important for Inter, because Milan after a bad start, were considered never to even come close to a CL place, plus Milan have the chance for CL through the EL,and a Coppa finale, for Inter, THIS is it, no Europe, no Coppa.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 2:21pm
At times I look at the Milan clubs and wonder: "Are we having a party?". At others it feels like they are wasting money RIGHT LEFT AND CENTRE.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 2:04pm
The form of both AC Milan and Inter is like that of a carbonara sauce. Smooth and delicious at times but otherwise stodgy and thick.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 2:01pm
Many times, in the past, the spoils of the Derby of the Madonnina have gone to the side NOT in form.

Derbys are unpredictable but in this case I have a feeling that the rub of the green may favour Inter.

So...............

VERDICT: X or 2
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 1:51pm
@maldini's heir..so ur voice has stood up back up again, lol i thought it choked before, you are the one who said gattuso will be sacked before the end of february..SMH...but then i agree with you though, juventus has been a drilled unit all these while, and i believe gattuso is well on his way to achieving that with the current milan squad. Barr some of the gibberish glass house says i think its hard to even say the tie is 50/50..lol
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 11:24am
I do appreciate what gattuso has achieved as a coach already i fully expected him to motivate the team but his appreciation of tactics was a completely unexpected milan has bested teams which better players and strong team ethos. This team has started to work for another sacrifice for one another and triumph together. Saying that i still see the derby has 50/50 milan use of cutrone pretty much sums up how below par the strikers have been along with the 120 milan plated against lazio.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 11:01am
about work rate i went onto legaseriea.it and looked up stats on distance cover i am actually surprised to find out that inter have the highest work rate having run a average of 112.8 km where as milan were 18 on 107.2 km and juve 16 on 108.3. the stats also suggest that inter say on average inter have the second highest cross ratio along with second most assists 1st in terms of getting corners first in getting headed goals. the stat which should stand out is out of 42 goals icardi scoring 18.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 10:55am
Totally agree with Maldini's heir, no one works as hard Juve so obviously they'll be winning and Inter have a serious confidence crisis since 2012,probably the Treble destroyed them
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 10:04am
are so well drilled. Gattuso is introducing that drilling to this Milan side and that is why we are seeing the exact same players playing like totally different players. And confidence is also key. Inter's confidence has taken a huge hit and suddenly they're a totally different team. The answer to both Milan and Inter and the other teams will not come from the transfer market. It will come from the stability and work ethic that has laid the foundations for Juve's 6 Scudetti.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 7:34am
On their day, any of them can be uncompromising defenders, midfield generals or clinical strikers. If any team drops their level by even an inch they will struggle. Milan and Inter in recent years have dropped many inches particularly against the so called "weaker sides". It was interesting reading Benatia's comments about Juve and how other teams under-estimate just how hard they work. Juve are where they are not because they have some supercalifragilisticexpialidocious players but because they
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 7:30am
It's almost as if there's some rule that stops both sides being good at the same time. Maybe the town isn't big enough for the both of them....What I think this frankly bizarre flip in form shows is again the tiny, tiny differences between the sides. There's give or take about 500 players playing in Serie A (25 x 20) and these are the best 500 players in Italy and Serie A is one of the best leagues in the world (still). These 500 players are some of the best players on the planet.
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 7:28am
as an inter fan i have little expectations going into this game ..and this is the first time in years i as a fan will fell milan are clear favourites against us.....so sad...
on the 2nd March, 2018 at 6:38am

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