The Big One. Milan’s San Siro will host the Derby today at 20:45 CET. AC Milan and Inter face each other for the 175th time in Serie A: an age-old and never-ending story, and we are ready for this next chapter which is just around the corner. It's the twelfth matchday of Serie A and the last before the November international break. With just a few hours to go and the tensions rising, we take one last look at the match-up before kick-off with our Match Preview.
LATEST FROM MILANELLO
A win away in Rome and a draw at home in the Champions League against Porto: these are the Rossoneri’s latest results on the domestic front and in Europe. Unlike during Wednesday's home game against the Dragões, Coach Pioli will have Ante Rebić back at his disposal, who hasn't played since Milan v Verona on 16 October. Fodé Ballo-Touré also returns, having missed the last two matches due to a knock he received against Bologna. However, Theo Hernández will be missing through suspension following the red card he received in the second half in Rome. Also returning to the squad are Alessandro Florenzi, who will be available for the first time since undergoing meniscus surgery last month, and Pietro Pellegri, who was ruled out due to fitness issues in Rome. Junior Messias and Samu Castillejo remain sidelined.
The words of Coach Pioli during his pre-match press conference: "We prepare for every match with three points in mind. This is only the twelfth match of the season; this game will not decide the final standings. It's an important day for everyone involved with our Club and the whole environment, but that’s it: we can't get head of ourselves because there's still so much time left in the season. The Derby is always a historic and prestigious occasion and a very important one at that: of course, the most important thing is to go out there and get the win."
LATEST FROM INTER
After a defeat in Rome against Lazio, the Nerazzurri have shifted gears, registering five wins and a draw (against Juventus) in Serie A and the Champions League. Impressive form, and then there is the question of availability: Inzaghi will go into the Derby with a full squad at his disposal and a defence that has conceded just one goal in their last three matches.
"AC Milan score a lot and don't concede many," said Inzaghi ahead of the game. "They have the second-best defence in the league and have been playing together for a long time. Things are going very well for us at the moment, we are currently the best attacking outfit. We'll have to be attentive, but we can definitely put on a great performance."
25 goals scored and ten conceded for the Rossoneri, who are currently top of the table alongside Napoli; 28 scored and twelve conceded by the Nerazzurri, who are seven points adrift. We're still in the early stages of the season, but the performances from these teams have shown that they are already very much up and running. The Nerazzurri come into the Derby with the best attack in the league and 30 games since they have failed to register at least a single goal in a Serie A match. On paper, the stats forecast a balanced match. The last two meetings in Serie A and the Coppa Italia were won by the visitors, while the last game with Inter as the home team was won by Pioli's side.
LATEST FROM SERIE A
The referee for AC Milan v Inter this evening will be 43-year-old Daniele Doveri, who took charge in both of the last two Serie A Derby matches hosted by the Rossoneri. A seasoned veteran, as highlighted by his 182 Serie A appearances, he has already refereed Pioli's side in the 1-1 draw away against Juventus. Doveri has a total of 22 previous meetings with AC Milan, with 13 wins, five draws and four defeats. He will be assisted by linesmen Passeri and Costanzo as well as fourth offical Pezzuto; Irrati will be on VAR, assisted by Vivenzi.
Matchday 12 began with Empoli 2-2 Genoa, while three games were played yesterday: Spezia 1-0 Torino, Juventus 1-0 Fiorentina and Cagliari 1-2 Atalanta. Sunday's Serie A kicked off with Venezia v Roma 3-2, Sampdoria-Bologna 1-2, Udinese-Sassuolo 3-2, Napoli-Verona (6pm) and Lazio-Salernitana (6pm) will follow. Finally, the Derby Milan-Inter.
Here are the current Serie A standings: Napoli, Milan 31; Inter 24; Atalanta* 22; Roma 19; Bologna*, Lazio, Fiorentina*, Juventus* 18; Empoli* 16; Hellas Verona 15; Sassuolo*, Udinese*, Torino* 14; Spezia* 11; Sampdoria*, Venezia, Genoa* 9; Salernitana 7; Cagliari* 6. (*= one game in hand)
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