Serie A Week 8 - 15 Oct 2017 (19.45 UK)
Inter - Milan
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza

Milan come into this showdown desperately needing a victory, while Inter have their eyes on the top of the table.

The Derby Della Madonnina is a different animal these days. A sell-out crowd and a city filled with hope will now showcase one of Europe’s premier fixtures in all its majesty. This match once again will see some of Serie A’s top talents come head to head, as the Milanese giants face off in an effort to show how far their Far Eastern projects have come.

This an example of the modern-day Milan Derby, football is fashionable again in the city, the pride is worth playing for again and the talent on show is worthy of the cathedral it will be played in.

Inter have won all but one game in the build up to this fixture, but that doesn’t tell the full story. The victory against Fiorentina was promising and they held off Roma for some time, before blitzing them at the end. Since then, games against Crotone, Benevento, SPAL and Genoa have seen more lethargic displays, but they are team who are still adapting.

Marcelo Brozovic was decisive with his brace against Benevento, but is out after picking up an injury on international duty, so Joao Mario should step in.

The struggle to find a consistent trequartista, the inability to get the wingers into the game and the slow tempo have given Luciano Spalletti a headache, but the positives outweigh the negatives. A win in the Derby would take Inter a long way to showing their true potential as at least top three finishers. With leaders Napoli visiting Roma and Juventus taking on Lazio, they could in theory be the new Serie A leaders come Sunday night.

All the talk was of Milan at the start of the season, as over 60,000 packed in to San Siro for the Rossoneri’s Europa League qualifier. The fact that Gigio Donnarumma had decided to stay with the 10 new signings had given Milan a chance to dream again. This was a time when they could think back to their not so recent glorious past and the mood was good.

Vincenzo Montella had last season been making the most of their youth academy during the protracted club takeover. This still isn’t being forgotten as the new stars arrive. Despite the early promise, Milan first fell foul in a rainy Stadio Olimpico, as Lazio turned them over, then Sampdoria and Roma followed suit. Now as the Derby is upon them and the Rossoneri need a victory to show that the Milan project isn’t going off the rails.

The track record between the Coaches is not reassuring for Montella, who has lost all three of his previous meetings with Spalletti.

Keep an eye on: Antonio Candreva (Inter) – Candreva was on the score sheet for Italy in midweek against Albania and this will give him confidence going into a fixture he loves. He scored in both legs last season and will no doubt fancy getting on target again.

Form Guide: Inter (W W D W W) Milan (L L W W L)

Last season: Inter 2-2 Milan

Stat fact: Inter have not won the derby since a 1-0 result in September 2015, managing a defeat and two 2-2 draws. The last time Milan won the ‘away’ derby was 1-0 in November 2010, followed by three stalemates and three losses. The most goals scored in this fixture was back in 1949 with an incredible Inter 6-5 Milan.

Top tip: It is worth looking at goals scored after the 90th minute. In the two 2-2 draws last term Ivan Perisic (92nd) and Cristian Zapata (97th) equalised with late goals for Inter and Milan, the Croat in the first and the Colombian in the latter.

Inter (probable): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Nagatomo; Vecino, Borja Valero; Candreva, Joao Mario, Perisic, Icardi

Suspended: None

Milan (probable): G Donnarumma; Musacchio, Bonucci, Romagnoli; Borini, Kessie, Biglia, Bonaventura, Rodriguez; Suso, Silva

Suspended: Calhanoglu