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Match Preview: Milan-Inter, 21-02-2021

The day has finally come, the moment of truth for the Rossonero world: will Milan win the most important derby of the last 10 years and keep their Scudetto dreams alive?

This will be the 174th Milan Derby in Serie A (Inter won 66 times, the rossoneri 52, with 55 draws) but in the recent years it has never been so important for both. The last time that the two teams were top of the league, it was the 2nd April 2011, when Milan won 3-0 and won the Scudetto later that season. Since then the Derby was simply a game to declare which team was the king of Milan, until now. This season, Inter and Milan put together 99 points, 16 more than last season (after 22 games), and they set a new record in the three points per win era.

The mood of the two teams is completely different, Inter is currently first on the table after the victory against Lazio that made it possible to overtake the cousins. The Nerazzurri have so far scored 60 goals in 22 games and no one did better in Serie A in the past. On the other side of Milan, Il Diavolo are facing their worst period of the season and they must react if they want to maintain high hopes to reach their goals. The defeat in La Spezia and the draw in Serbia are not ideal for the team, not only because of the result, but also for the bad performances. That’s why Pioli and his players must show a good reaction that can put things back on the right rails, aiming to win the second Serie A derby of the season. The last time Milan won both the derbies, it was in 2010/11, 1-0 and 3-0.

Milan’s starting eleven will be almost the same as the Spezia game, with only three changes: Calabria will come back from the first minute after the suspension, Rebic will probably take Leao’s place on the left and Tonali will replace Bennacer after the injury he suffered on Thursday in Belgrade. Donnarumma, despite the ongoing negotiation to sign a new contract, will play his 200th Serie A game, setting a new record as the younger player to reach that amount; indeed, he’ll be 21 years and 361 days old on Sunday, while the current record is held by Buffon, who was 24 years and 83 days old when he achieved it.

The only unavailable player for Inter is Sensi, who will miss the game, while the rest of the squad is fully fit. In substitution of the Italian midfielder, Conte will probably choose Eriksen, who seemed to be reaching his best performances in the last games. The strikers will be Lautaro Martinez, 11 goals in Serie A so far, and Lukaku, 16 goals; the Belgian can become the first player to score in four consecutive Serie A derby in the three points per win era (the last one was the rossonero Benetti between 1972 and 1973).

Milan lineup (4-2-3-1): G. Donnarumma; Calabria, Kjaer, Romagnoli, Hernandez; Kessié, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Calhanoglu, Rebic; Ibrahimovic. Coach: Pioli

Inter lineup (3-5-2): Handanovic; Skriniar, De Vrij, Bastoni; Hakimi, Barella, Brozovic, Eriksen, Perisic; Lukaku, Lautaro Martinez. Coach: Conte

Referee: Doveri

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