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AC Milan is scheduled to host Inter in Sunday’s highly anticipated Serie A clash at the San Siro. The match will be the 178th league match between the teams and is the first time in a decade that the Milan giants have occupied the top two positions before the derby.
The Rossoneri recently suffered their second loss in four league games after a surprise 1-0 loss in Spezia. The result saw them cede their top position to the Nerazzurri for the first time since October last year.
The Nerazzurri are one point ahead of their fierce rivals after a three-game winning streak and the upcoming derby will be crucial for both teams. While Inter have a chance to widen the narrow gap at the top, Milan will be looking to regain first place.
Milan and Inter have already met twice this season (Serie A and Coppa Italia) and have won one game each.
Milan managed a two-to-zero lead after Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s double in just 16 minutes. Romelu Lukaku cut the deficit in the 29th minute but Inter could not seal the comeback.
Milan’s victory was the first in the derby in nine attempts in the Italian top flight (three draws and five defeats previously).
Antonio Conte took revenge for the loss in the Coppa Italia quarterfinal, where Christian Eriksen made it 2-1 with a sublime free kick in injury time in the second half.
The Rossoneri played most of the second period with 10 men after Zlatan Ibrahimovic was sent off early with a second yellow card.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic rested for the first leg of the Europa League round of 32 against Red Star Belgrade, where Mario Mandzukic led the line.
He should return for the derby alongside Davide Calabria, who missed the last league game due to suspension. Brahim Diaz will be missing because he still has a hamstring problem.
Stefano Sensi will be the only one absent from Inter with muscular problems.
AC Milan (4-2-3-1): Gianluigi Donnarumma; Davide Calabria, Simon Kjaer, Alessio Romagnoli, Theo Hernandez; Sandro Tonali, Franck Kessie; Alexis Saelemaekers, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ante Rebic; Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
Inter (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Alessandro Bastoni; Achraf Hakimi, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Christian Eriksen, Ivan Perisic; Romelu Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez.
Milan was in action in the Europa League in the middle of the week, where some of its regulars were in action. Therefore, Inter should be the coolest team for the derby, given that they do not have to worry about European football.
Still, we only imagine part of the spoils, as the Rossoneri will be determined to avoid a fourth loss in eight league games, giving their arch-rivals a useful advantage in the title race.
AC Milan 1-1 Bury