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Friday, January 29, 2016

Match Preview: The Milan Derby

Image credit: AndhikaMPPP.

AC Milan will face its crosstown and bitter rivals, Internazionale Milano, on Sunday evening 31 January 2016 from the San Siro at 2045 local time. Former Inter legend, Sinisa Mihajlovic, will face his former team for only the second time as the manager of Milan.

Inter has the best defense in Serie A only conceding 14 times due to the stellar work of Samir Handanovic. Milan, after a slow start, has been rising in the table and now finds itself poised for a place in Europe next season. Both Milan clubs need the revenue from European football next season. Neither team qualified for the Champions League or Europa League, respectively, last year.

Where to Watch the Derby

I will provide three television networks where you can follow the Milan derby in English and/or Italian. BeIN Sports (English) and RAI Internazionale (Italian) will provide live television coverage in the USA, Canada and in Australia, respectively. BT Sport will televise the derby in the UK. Please check your local listings for kick-off times in your respective time zone.

Latest Mid-Week Results
  • Inter lost 3-0 to Juventus in the first leg of the semifinals in the Italian Cup.
  • Milan beat Alessandria 0-1 in the first leg of the semifinals in the Italian Cup.
Current Serie A Positions
  • Milan is in 6th place on 33 points.
  • Inter is in 4th place on 41 points (only earning 5 points in their last 5 Serie A games.) 
  • With both teams struggling for form, the betting in Australia and elsewhere favors a low-scoring game, with Milan the nominal favorites for most bookmakers. If you are betting on the game, back a low-scoring game with less than 2.5 goals scored, or back one of the teams to not score.
Latest Transfer News
  • Italian international, Eder, has just transferred from Sampdoria to Internazionale and will be available for this match.
Derby Trivia
  • Gianluigi Donnarumma of Milan will become the youngest player ever to start a Milan derby.
Prematch Comments by Sinisa Mihajlovic of Milan

In comments transcribed by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mister Mihajlovic said the following:

"The derby is a very important game and not only for our position in the table. It's one of our last opportunities to be able to focus upon the first three spots in the table. But we are not looking at the Champions League. We're only thinking game-to-game.

We know that we have all of the qualities to beat them. I envy the way Inter has won so many games and their position in the table is clearly better than ours. But if we win on Sunday night, we'll cut the gap and find enthusiasm once again. We'll play to win but I don't know if winning is more important than not losing... In the last 17 games, we've only lost twice.

Eder is a very important player, can play all the roles up top and is a great acquisition by Inter. Perhaps he could have arrived on Monday."

Prematch Comments by Roberto Mancini of Internazionale

"Three important points are at stake on Sunday. We have to overcome this spell by staying compact as always!"

In comments transcribed by La Gazzetta dello Sport, Mister Mancini had the following observations:

"We are not in a crisis. At the end of the day, we didn't deserve to lose against Sassuolo and draw with Carpi. Also because I believe it is a record to have conceded two penalty kicks at home during injury time. The derby won't be decisive but then it is clear winning it would give everyone enthusiasm. It can go either way even if Milan at this time is better than we are.

"Eder can't change everything straight away. To me, he seems to be able to play in all roles: Target striker, support striker, and as a wide man in a 4-3-3. He always does enough and I believe he can help out Jovetic, Icardi and Palacio. I still have to decide if I'll start him.

Image credit: AndhikaMPPP.

It's true that we have one less midfielder; however, there was this small problem of scoring goals. And we decided to focus on Eder."

Italian to English translations by Steve Amoia.

Steve Amoia is a freelance writer and translator based in Washington, D.C. He is the publisher of World Football Commentaries since 2006 and published The Soccer Translator from 2008 to 2015. 

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