A top-of-the-table clash awaits in Serie A as bitter rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan square off in another intense derby.
First-place is the prize up for grabs as AC Milan and Inter Milan lock horns for the 174th Derby della Madonnina in Serie A history.
It’s a Milan 1-2 in the Italian league standings. Inter hold bragging rights for the top spot, having collected 50 points from 22 games. Although AC Milan, who sit a point behind in second place, can overturn that with a victory on Sunday.
The Scudetto race is hitting a boiling hit as the second half of the 2020/21 campaign continues. Defeat is simply not an option for neither side. No team can give the other an inch for the final bout of this historic fixture this season, with countless head-to-heads and subplots making this a top billing affair in Europe.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) February 21, 2021
Zlatan key for the struggling Rossoneri
A surprise 2-0 defeat away to Spezia last weekend ended Milan’s 18-match hold of top spot in the Serie A, having held the position since mid-October. Sunday’s derby, however, offers a chance of redemption and to retake the lead.
Stefano Pioli’s men, though, have had a dip in form since the winter break. Three losses in 11 league games in 2021 (W6 D2) is already one more than they managed throughout the previous year, having lost only two times in 35 league games. And in Inter, lies a true test for their title credentials.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic, along with several key men, may return in a much-changed XI from the 2-2 Europa League draw against Crvena Zvezda. The veteran forward was on target against Inter last time out. And while his infamous bust-up with Romelu Lukaku stole the headlines, he has a solid record against his former employers and will be determined to reboot the Rossoneri’s bid for a first Scudetto in a decade.
Key Team Stats
- Lost 3 of their last 6 games in all competitions (W2 D1).
- Kept only 1 clean sheet in their last 6 games in all competitions.
- Aim to beat Inter twice in a single league campaign for only the second time in 15 years.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic has made 12 goal contributions in 16 appearances against Inter in all competitions (10 goals, 2 assists).
Recharged & in-form Inter ready for derby
Romelu Lukaku stole the show last weekend by scoring a brace and assisting Lautaro Martinez to seal a 3-1 win over Lazio. The Belgian has now scored five goals in his last five appearances and is tied with Cristiano Ronaldo as the league’s top scorer on 16 goals; leaving him in good shape for derby.
Because of their Champions League group stage exit, Inter also enjoyed a midweek break and can fully focus on the Scudetto. And given their run of form, a first title since 2010 could be on offer. Especially if they claim a 67th Serie A victory over AC Milan, which would hand them a commanding four-point on top of the standings.
Aside from losing only one of their last 15 league games (W12 D2), the Nerazzurri have kept four clean sheets in the previous five matches. Their improved defensive prowess, along with the attacking talent already at their disposal, promises to pose all kinds of threats in Lombardy.
Key Team Stats
- Won 12 of their last 15 league games (D2 L1).
- Scored a league-best 54 goals this season.
- Kept 4 clean sheets in their last five league games.
- Won 5 of their last 6 games against AC Milan in all competitions. (L1).
- Romelu Lukaku has scored 5 goals in his last 5 games in all competitions.
- Romelu Lukaku aims to become the first player to score in 4 consecutive Milan derbies since 1973.
|AC Milan||Inter Milan|
|Out:||Daniele Bonera, Brahim Diaz, Ismael Bennacer||Stefano Sensi|
AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Kessie; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic.
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Perisic; Martinez, Lukaku.