16 September 2023


Back in action with a derby clash: the lowdown on our fourth fixture of the season

For the first time in over 50 years - this was last the case in February 1962 - Inter and AC Milan are set to face each other while sitting on the same number of points at the top of the table. We’re only three matchdays into the 2023/24 season, but it’s a fact that makes clear that an important fixture is in store. The first derby of the campaign awaits following the international break, with the Rossoneri and Nerazzurri having picked up maximum points after 270 minutes of action. Kick-off is scheduled for 18:00 CEST, and here’s our Match Preview to present the big clash.

Three Rossoneri players will be absent: in addition to the suspended Tomori and the injured Bennacer, Kalulu has a problem with his left thigh and won’t be available for the game at San Siro. However, the rest of the team will be at the disposal of Coach Pioli, including Olivier Giroud, who has overcome the knock he suffered while away on international duty. There shouldn’t be any surprises, with Kjær and Thiaw set to form the centre-back pairing in a 4-3-3 formation that will see Pulisic and Leão support the Rossoneri No.9 up front.

“It’s early in the championship. We’ve started well and we want to continue in this fashion, keeping our heads screwed on,” said Coach Pioli on the eve of the game. “I’m confident about how the team have prepared and how we want to approach the match. We know how we want to go about things, but matches need to be played and interpreted. I’m not interested in previous derbies; Saturday’s is the one that counts. It’s an opportunity to make the most of, and I want my players to think they can win it. I want to see the team follow our principles of play and what we have prepared, and I’m sure that they’ll approach the match with the right spirit, with enthusiasm and with heart.

The Nerazzurri don’t have any players out through suspension and have had some good news from the treatment room in recent days. Indeed, Inzaghi will have both Acerbi and Sensi available to him, although there is a doubt about Alexis Sánchez, who returned to Italy after playing the entire match for Chile against Colombia on Wednesday evening. A familiar Nerazzurri line-up will take to the pitch, with de Vrij the favourite to get the nod over Acerbi as part of the only backline that is yet to concede in Serie A. Mkhitaryan is likely to start over Frattesi in midfield, while the front pairing will probably consist of Lautaro and Thuram.

“Both AC Milan and Inter have already impressed. It’s only our fourth game of the season, but it’s an important one,” said Simone Inzaghi in his pre-match press conference. “We know what the derby represents for everyone. The match pits together two teams who have made changes and have started very well, and both have their own identity. It isn’t a decisive game, but we know how important it is for the city and the fans. AC Milan are an aggressive, organised and well coached team who are now displaying more physicality.”


  • AC Milan and Inter are ready to play their 179th match against each other in Serie A (they’ve met 238 times in all competitions). The teams will face each other for the fifth time in a single calendar year, something which has never happened before.
  • Inter and AC Milan have scored the most goals in Serie A this season (eight apiece), and they’re the only teams who have taken the lead in each of their first three games so far.
  • Olivier Giroud has become the first Rossoneri player to score in AC Milan’s opening three league fixtures since Andriy Shevchenko in 2001/02. The Frenchman has bagged on four occasions, the same number of goals he’s contributed to in three previous derby encounters (three goals and an assist). He hasn’t done better against any other Italian side.
  • The reverse league fixture last season is the only Serie A match where Rafael Leão, who has completed the most dribbles in the league so far this campaign, has been involved in three goals: that day, he found the net twice and provided an assist for Giroud.
  • Stefano Pioli is set to experience his 16th Milan derby, thus equalling Nils Liedholm in the ranking of coaches who have been in the dugout for the most games between Inter and AC Milan. In terms of results against Simone Inzaghi, there’s nothing to separate the two tacticians: there have been five wins apiece and three draws.

In Italy, the match will be broadcast by DAZN. To watch Inter v AC Milan in a different country, you can consult the “AC Milan on TV” webpage, clicking on the heading "Abroad". On the Rossoneri channels, Milan TV will provide live matchday coverage starting from 17:00 CEST and continuing up until shortly before kick-off. After full-time, there will be interviews and Coach Pioli’s press conference. From 17:55 CEST, there will also be our Live Reaction show on our Twitch channel. Also not to be missed is the coverage on, the AC Milan Official App and our official social media profiles.

Simone Sozza is set to take charge of the derby. He’s refereed just one Serie A match involving AC Milan during his career so far: the Rossoneri’s 2-1 success over Fiorentina on 13 November 2022. Carbone and Giallatini have been named as the linesmen for the clash, while Guida will perform the role of fourth official. Di Paolo, assisted by Piccinini, will oversee VAR.

A big Saturday awaits on matchday four in Serie A. The latest round of fixtures will begin with Juventus v Lazio at 15:00 CEST, followed by Inter v AC Milan at 18:00 CEST and Genoa v Napoli at 20:45 CEST. Five matches are scheduled for Sunday: Cagliari v Udinese at 12:30 CEST, Frosinone v Sassuolo and Monza v Lecce at 15:00 CEST, Fiorentina v Atalanta at 18:00 CEST and, finally, Roma v Empoli at 20:45 CEST. Two games will be played on Monday: Salernitana v Torino at 18:30 CEST and Hellas Verona v Bologna at 20:45 CEST.

This is the current Serie A table: Inter, AC Milan 9; Juventus, Lecce 7; Atalanta, Napoli and Hellas Verona 6; Fiorentina, Frosinone, Bologna and Torino 4; Lazio, Monza, Sassuolo and Genoa 3; Salernitana and Udinese 2; Roma and Cagliari 1; Empoli 0.

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