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Feb 5, 2022 at 5pm UK
Inter MilanInter Milan
AC MilanAC Milan
Perisic (38')
Calhanoglu (60'), Skriniar (84')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Giroud (75', 78')
Romagnoli (21'), Diaz (72'), Bennacer (76'), Krunic (90+1')
Hernandez (90+5')

Preview: Inter Milan vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Inter Milan vs. AC Milan - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Saturday's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and AC Milan, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Seeking to extend a four-point advantage over AC Milan at the top of the Serie A standings, Inter Milan play 'hosts' in Saturday's Derby della Madonnina.

An incredible reversal in fortunes since the last Milan Derby, in November, sees Inter swap a seven-point deficit for the chance to establish the same lead themselves - if they can defeat their Rossonero rivals at San Siro.

Match preview

This weekend's 230th staging of the Derbi di Milano brings together two sides heading in different directions since they last met, as Inter have since leapfrogged their second-city counterparts in the league table, thereby becoming favourites to retain the Scudetto.

Following their 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture, Inter may have been denied a fourth Derby win out of five, but have now lost just one of their 11 most recent meetings with Milan in the league.

Not only that, but while the Nerazzurri progressed in the Champions League, their San Siro-sharing cousins have exited continental competition altogether - and the blue-and-black side of the city is predominant again.

Last time out before the international break, Edin Dzeko's late winner against Venezia took Inter clear of both Milan and Napoli in the title race and also proved that Simone Inzaghi's side could win when not at their free-flowing best.

Their 2-1 victory over the Lagunari means that the champions are now unbeaten in 28 home matches in Serie A - winning 25 times during that spectacular spell - with their last league loss at the Meazza coming in October 2020 to none other than Milan.

Having added a touch of daring to the Nerazzurri's final-third play since his arrival, Inzaghi has based his side's ascent to the Serie A summit on an increasingly impenetrable back line: keeping a clean sheet in seven of their last nine league games, a period in which they have conceded only twice.

Such resilience will be needed in the coming weeks, as once Inter have dealt with the Derby, they must then tackle Roma in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals, before visiting Napoli and then entering the Champions League knockout stage against Liverpool - twice Milan's conquerors earlier this term.

In the seven league games since their second defeat to Jurgen Klopp's side in November, inconsistency has bedevilled Milan's game, and they have come out on top in just three of those fixtures.

Their most recent setbacks came with a shock home defeat to lowly Spezia, followed by an insipid showing in the high-profile clash with Juventus at the end of last month.

Nonetheless, a goalless draw at home to the Bianconeri keeps Stefano Pioli's men within touching distance of top spot, and victory over Inter would even bring them within a point of first place - albeit having played one game more.

Having assumed a submissive role in the relationship over recent years - no more so than when overhauled by Antonio Conte's squad in the Scudetto race last spring - vengeance may be a factor this week for both Pioli and the inimitable Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who are both former Inter employees.

The pair have formed an unlikely alliance amid Milan's revival of the past two years, and will be determined to keep their club's campaign on track despite a lack of transfer window activity.

Milan's failure to sign a centre-back to cover the season-ending injury sustained by defensive mainstay Simon Kjaer and ongoing fitness concerns of Fikayo Tomori may come back to bite them sooner rather than later - with Inter's ruthless attack certain to target such weaknesses on Saturday.

Inter Milan Serie A form:
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W

Inter Milan form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • D
  • W
  • W

AC Milan Serie A form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

AC Milan form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • D

Team News

Following a fortnight of inaction, Milan resume their Serie A campaign with a mostly fit squad, but Fikayo Tomori and Zlatan Ibrahimovic could be forced to join long-term absentee Simon Kjaer on the sidelines, while Ante Rebic is also a doubt.

Ibrahimovic limped off during the Rossoneri's last game due to an Achilles problem and has been training separately from the main group, so Olivier Giroud will be required to lead the line.

As Franck Kessie has now returned from the Africa Cup of Nations, the Ivorian international could resume the more advanced role which he filled successfully against Empoli, when he bagged a brace. Alternatively, Brahim Diaz will start in support of Giroud.

Inter, meanwhile, have a similarly strong selection available for the Derby, with only Joaquin Correa and new signing Robin Gosens unavailable as they continue to recover from their respective thigh injuries.

As Correa is expected to remain out until the end of the month and both Lautaro Martinez and Alexis Sanchez have been in South America taking part in Qatar 2022 qualifying, recent arrival Felipe Caicedo - signed from Genoa last month - will hope to make his debut alongside Edin Dzeko up front.

Simone Inzaghi's side should line up in their familiar 3-5-2 formation, with a head-to-head battle between Matteo Darmian and Denzel Dumfries for a place on the right being the Inter coach's most finely-balanced decision.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko

AC Milan possible starting lineup:
Maignan; Calabria, Kalulu, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Tonali, Bennacer; Saelemaekers, Kessie, Leao; Giroud

We say: Inter Milan 2-1 AC Milan

Most markers point towards a 'home' win on Saturday, as Inter are again in the ascendancy and victory would establish a significant lead over Milan in the title race.

The Nerazzurri's attacking adaptability and greater strength in depth should help them overcome an increasingly inconsistent opposition side, which might even prove a knockout blow for the Rossoneri's Scudetto aspirations.

Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data

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