The season’s first Derby della Madonnina promises fireworks as the underwhelming Rossoneri take on Inter Milan at the San Siro on Monday morning.
Luciano Spaletti has taken Inter under his wing and up the Serie A table with a fantastic start to their campaign. Inter are sitting third and seven points clear of their bitter rivals ahead of the Derby.
It’s a must-win game for either side and these are the five talking points ahead of the biggest Derby della Madonnina match in several years.
Is Rossoneri Revival Already Ruined?
When Milan spent over 200 million euros on new players in the summer the expectation was they would challenge for a top-three spot and Champions League football – at least. However, seven games into the Serie A season they have already lost three times and sit nine points behind leaders Napoli. Losing the derby would not only damage their confidence but it might well rule them out of Scudetto contention as the big boys continue to plunder goals galore in their pursuit of glory.
Are Inter serious contenders?
Inter did not splash the cash as lavishly as Milan but their new signings are gelling better and with six wins from seven the Nerazzurri are looking impressive under new boss Luciano Spalletti. They match Juventus in the fledgling table and Napoli are just two points away. With Mauro Icardi spearheading the forward line while Ivan Perisic and Borja Valero provide ammunition from midfield, Inter look like worrying all defences this term, and Milan’s leaky back-line will certainly find it tough on Sunday.
Is Montella in trouble?
There is little for Milan head coach Vincenzo Montella to smile about at the moment. The former Roma striker and Sampdoria boss delivered the Supercoppa and a sixth-placed finish in 2016-17 but needs to do much more this season to keep his job at San Siro. Despite a recent vote of confidence from Milan’s executives, a serious derby defeat could further weaken Montella’s position and, with the likes of Carlo Ancelotti now becoming available, he could soon find himself on borrowed time.
Skriniar emerges as new Nerazzurri star
The Slovakian with the first name that fits the occasion well, Milan Skriniar, has quickly established himself as a dominant force in the Inter defence following a summer switch from Samp. While his Milan counterpart Leonardo Bonucci has disappointed, 22-year-old Skriniar has supervised the concession of just three goals, the best record in the league thus far. He is showing leadership off the field, too, calming expectations and tempers in a pre-match interview with La Gazzetta dello Sport.
Milan’s Attacking Dilemma
Despite shelling out millions on Porto striker Andre Silva and capturing imposing frontman Nikola Kalinic from Fiorentina, Milan have been inconsistent in front of goal.
In fact, teenage forward Patrick Cutrone has been their most useful weapon, grabbing two in two to help kick off Milan’s campaign with back-to-back league wins. The onus falls on Montella to decide on his most potent trident – perhaps the time has come to sacrifice Fabio Borini so he can field Silva and Kalinic together.