Antonio Cassano warns Inter ‘have the most to lose’ in tonight’s Milan Derby and he would always play Christian Eriksen and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. 'There's no comparison for Romelu Lukaku.'
It kicks off at 17.00 UK time (16.00 GMT), click here for a match preview.
FantAntonio played for both sides in this fixture and gave his views on the encounter to La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It’s too early to make a big impact on the campaign, but Inter are certainly the team with the most to lose,” said Cassano.
“I honestly thought Antonio Conte would leave after his outburst at the end of last season, but he really can’t fail now. He has to win the Scudetto, because he got Arturo Vidal and Achraf Hakimi, while Lautaro Martinez remained. It’s a stronger squad, Juventus have Andrea Pirlo in his first year, so Conte is obliged to end the winning streak.”
It’s Milan who go into this clash as joint leaders with Atalanta, having won all three Serie A matches without conceding a goal.
“Stefano Pioli deserved to stay, as he had a great end to the season and qualified for the Europa League. Ralf Rangnick hasn’t won anything…”
Cassano was teammates with Ibrahimovic and holds his old friend in very high esteem.
“Zlatan is the best player in Serie A. Romelu Lukaku is young, talented, but there’s just no comparison. At age 39, physical strength isn’t enough, you need quality, and Ibra has a lot of it. I think after the original Ronaldo and Marco van Basten, there’s Ibra.
“Inter remain the favourites this evening, but Ibra can turn it all on its head, assuming COVID didn’t rob him of his strength. Lautaro Martinez has improved and reminds me of Sergio Aguero.”
Even with a squad decimated by injuries and illness, Inter are still likely to leave Eriksen on the bench this evening.
“Conte doesn’t like that type of player, he prefers Arturo Vidal to give intensity, but Eriksen is a champion,” explained Cassano.
“I would always play Eriksen behind the strikers, while I’d suggest Pioli use a 4-2-3-1 to cause problems for Inter down the wings. In the absence of Ante Rebic, I’d focus on Brahim Diaz and Alexis Saelemaekers.”
Although Cassano has always confessed to being an Inter fan, his loyalties are divided in the Derby della Madonnina.
“I won a Scudetto and Italian Supercup with Milan, but above all I owe my life to this club, as they rescued me from the jaws of death when I had my heart problem. Silvio Berlusconi and Adriano Galliani treated me like a son.
“However, I had a massive row with Galliani in China during pre-season. I wanted a contract renewal, he kept delaying it, so I asked to join Inter.
“That was a childhood dream come true. I also met two brothers, Piero Ausilio and Marco Branca. I really got on with Yuto Nagatomo and we are still in touch. One night before a derby, I crept into his room at 4am and he was so scared that he jumped out of his skin!”
Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £9.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://www.premiersports.com/subscribenow