serie-a03 September 2022


It's Derby day: our approach to today's local Derby

The fifth game of the league season is just around the corner. At San Siro, AC Milan are back in front of their fans, hosting Inter in the first Derby of the season. The Rossoneri are coming off the back of a draw against Sassuolo, while the Nerazzurri will be in action after a 3-1 home win against Cremonese. With just a few hours to go before kick-off - scheduled for 18:00 CEST - we introduce the contest in our Match Preview.


 The Rossoneri's tally after four matches in Serie A is two wins, both at San Siro, and two draws, at Atalanta and Sassuolo. Compared to the challenge against the Neroverdi, Pioli will have Malick Thiaw, Aster Vranckx and Sergiño Dest at his disposal, the latest Rossoneri signings. Following the injury sustained in the last away match, Alessandro Florenzi will instead be added to the list of unavailable players, consisting of Krunić and Ibrahimović, in addition to the Italian full-back. There are several doubts and options available to Stefano Pioli, who, with the midweek just gone and the Champions League opener now approaching, will be able to rotate his players and turn things around with men from the bench

"I expect a vibrant match: the Derby is the Derby, there will be battle with no favourites"; these were the words of Coach Pioli during the evening press conference. "We won't be able  to give an inch, we'll have to move hard and well, putting in desire, sacrifice and aggression. We have prepared this match in the best possible way, down to the smallest detail. We are only thinking about the Derby and how we can win it. To do that, we will also have to take risks. We have our game plan, we'll try to take them on tomorrow with strength and energy. We respect Inter but we're not afraid, we'll play for it."


The Nerazzurri come into the Derby in the strong position of nine points that they have obtained in their first four league matches: three victories - the last one at San Siro against Cremonese - and the defeat against Lazio. Simone Inzaghi's side welcomed Romelu Lukaku back in the summer, who has been sidelined for this week of the season, as well as the additions of Onana, Asllani and the two ex-Rossoneri Bellanova and Acerbi. The presence of another summer purchase, Armenian Henrikh Mkhitaryan, is also in doubt. Inzaghi should use the usual 11 lined up with a 3-5-2, with the attacking pair formed by Lautaro along with one of Correa and Dzeko. 

"We know what the derby represents for the club and the fans, the team has recovered mentally and physically," the Nerazzurri coach's words on the eve of the match. "The boys have a lot of personality and great desire to play the game. We are watching the top two from last year, two strong teams with their own playing principles. Already in the first matches we have seen that all matches are balanced: the moments will make a difference, we will have to be good at directing them on our side".


Daniele Chiffi will referee AC Milan v Inter. For the official from Padova, the Derby di Milano will be the 75th game in his career, the ninth with the respective teams and the first ever in a Milan derby. The last contest with the Rossoneri involved dates back to last April, with Milan's victory over Genoa at San Siro. The refereeing team will be completed by fourth official Marcenario and linesmen Meli and Peretti. Di Paolo is on VAR, assisted by Paganessi.

The fifth matchday of Serie A kicks off today after the midweek games with Fiorentina v Juventus at 15:00 CEST and Lazio v Napoli at 20:45 CEST, in addition to the San Siro match. Sunday's league games will feature Cremonese v Sassuolo (12.30 CEST), Spezia v Bologna at 15:00 CEST, Hellas Verona v Sampdoria at 18:00 CESt and Udinese v Roma at 20:45 CEST. Monday 5 September will see Monza v Atalanta and Salernitana v Empoli at 18.30 CEST, while Torino v Lecce will close the day in the post-match match at 20:45 CEST.

This is the Serie A table: Atalanta, Roma 10; Inter 9; Napoli, Juventus, Milan, Lazio 8; Torino, Udinese 7; Salernitana, Fiorentina, Sassuolo 5; Spezia 4; Empoli 3; Lecce, Bologna, Hellas Verona, Sampdoria 2; Cremonese, Monza 0.

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