A spot in the grand final of the Coppa Italia is up for grabs as Inter and Milan go head-to-head in the second leg of their delicious semi-final. After an uneventful goalless first-leg draw in March, everything is open at the Giuseppe Meazza.
Both sides will take to the field in high spirits. Inter pushed aside weak Spezia with a comprehensive 3-1 away win in Serie A on Friday, while Milan celebrated a comfortable 2-0 home win over relegation-threatened Genoa.
The two teams go head-to-head in a thrilling Serie A title race, with teams separated by just a point before the season finale. However, the electrifying Scudetto enema will take a back seat in midweek in favor of swagger.
Inter and Milan are both two wins away from winning the second most important title in Italy. The arch-rivals will take on the Horns for the 27th time in the Coppa Italia and it’s time to preview the match.
After two 1-1 draws in mid-March, Inter have stringed together three Serie A victories with a 6-1 aggregate score. With confidence heading into this game, bolstered by an outstanding nine-game unbeaten run in all competitions (S5, D4), the Nerazzurri will feel entitled to have the grand finale.
In reality it looks very different. Inter have been eliminated in the last four Coppa Italia semi-finals. In fact, no other team has lost more in the Coppa Italia round of 16 than they have Nerazzurri (19).
All of that would be forgiven if Simone Inzaghi’s team could hold their own as nominal hosts (S1, L2) against their three-game H2H form. The clean sheet issue could play a crucial role. In fact, five of Inter’s last six home games have seen a team fail to find the goal.
In addition, Inter laments a negative H2H total bet in the Coppa Italia (8th win, 8th win, 10th win). They have developed in five of their eight knockout games against Milan (L5), although two of those three successes have come in two legs in their last two clashes.
Milan are three games unbeaten against Inter in all competitions (S1, D2), their longest streak of that kind since 2005. Stefano Pioli’s men go into this meeting with a purple stain after going unbeaten in their last 13 competitive games ( W7, D6), mostly thanks to a rock solid backline.
That Rossoneri have kept clean sheets in their last seven competitive games while conceding just four goals in the aforementioned 13-game sequence. Although difficult to crack, scoring goals could prove to be a real problem for Milan.
Before failing to score against Genoa last time out, Milan had scored one goal or fewer in seven straight games. However, they’ve been nothing short of impressive in the Coppa Italia of late, going undefeated in the last eight games of the competition (W4 L4).
Although Milan will only be a nominal guest in this encounter, they can draw confidence from their excellent away form. You’ll have to go back to November to find their last away win, including all competitions. In fact, they are undefeated in ten consecutive road outings (W7, D3).
Inter boss Inzaghi has few injuries to worry about. Essential centre-back Alessandro Bastoni is the only injury doubt in the squad Nerazzurri Lager, although he should be fit for another much-anticipated Derby della Madonnina.
Meanwhile, Milan are without three first-team stars including Alessandro Florenzi, Simon Kjaer and Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Captain Alessio Romagnoli is doubtful but would not feature in Pioli’s starting XI anyway with Pierre Kalulu and Fikayo Tomori destined to make another start.
Interpotential starting XI (3-5-2): Samir Handanovic; Stefan de Vrij, Milan Skriniar, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Hakan Calhanoglu, Ivan Perisic; Lautaro Martinez and Edin Dzeko.
Milan Potential Starting XI (4-2-3-1): Mike Maignan; Davide Calabria, Pierre Kalulu, Fikayo Tomori, Theo Hernandez; Sandro Tonali, Ismael Bennacer; Junior Messiah, Franck Kessie, Rafael Leao; Oliver Giroud.