A much-coveted Milan derby is set to take place in the astounding atmosphere of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on Wednesday to determine the winners of the Supercoppa Italiana.
This will be the second time these two rivals will meet in the final of the competition, as the first occurred in August 2011 when goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Kevin Prince Boateng inspired the Rossoneri to become the champions courtesy of a 2-1 victory.
It is always a close affair in this derby and both teams will look to make this final a memorable one for the fans as the world braces for the 234th edition of the Derby Della Madonnina.
The Rossoneri will aim to make it two wins in a row over their bitter foes from across town after securing a thrilling victory at the start of September. A brace from star man Rafael Leao and an Olivier Giroud strike aided Milan in making a comeback and snatching the bragging rights that day, while Edin Dzeko and Marcelo Brozovic were the scorers from the Nerazzurri contingent.
Manager Stefano Pioli and his Milan side haven’t found success in recent performances as they are winless in their last three games in all competitions. The Rossoneri have been a victim of late collapses recently as they have failed to hold onto their momentum and composure till the final whistle, thus inspiring the opponent to deal them a late blow.
In their previous Serie A match, Milan went two goals down at half-time away to Lecce and though they could respond efficiently in the second half, equalising the scores, they took a massive dent in their title-defending hopes.
Meanwhile, Inter approach this match on the back of a satisfactory run of results in which they have shown resiliency and determination to get the job done.
The Nerazzurri will be aiming for a second successive Supercoppa title after beating Juventus 2-1 last year through an Alexis Sanchez goal at the death of extra-time.
Simone Inzaghi instructed his team well and set their spirits high for this fixture by picking up a narrow win over Verona during the weekend. The team didn’t stress themselves too much after Lautaro Martinez slotted home in the 3rd minute, and they continued their defending till the final whistle to grab the three points and a clean sheet.
Results from their last five matches in all competitions:
D L D W W
W W D W W
Stefano Pioli will have Ante Rebic, Mike Maignan, Rade Krunic and Zlatan Ibrahimovic ruled out for this match.
Sandro Tonali returns to this Milan side after serving his one-match suspension over the weekend.
Olivier Giroud is expected to lead the attacking front after a display of lukewarm performances from new signing Charles De Ketelaere.
As for Inter, striker Romelu Lukaku has returned to training with a view to feature in Wednesday’s match. Manager Simone Inzaghi will be without the presence of Samir Handanovic and Marcelo Brozovic as they are dealing with injuries.
Striker Lautaro Martinez has a record to break in mind as he could become the first player to score in successive Supercoppas since his countryman Carlos Tevez, who achieved the feat by scoring in both the editions of 2013 and 2014.
Milan (4-2-3-1): Tatarusanu; Calabria, Tomori, Kalulu, Hernandez; Bennacer, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Diaz, Leao; Giroud
Inter (3-5-2): Onana; Skriniar, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Gagliardini, Calhanoglu, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martinez, Dzeko
Trambak Bhattacherjee | GIFN