AC Milan vs. Inter Milan Preview and Pick
AC Milan vs. Inter Milan Saturday August 29, 2009 4:45 ET
On Saturday night in an early derby between two bitter rivals AC Milan
hosts Inter Milan at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza. Even though this only the 2nd
game of the season for both clubs in the Italian league it is an important
one, especially for Inter as if they lose they will be 5 points Milan in
the Serie A race.
AC Milan did not have a good off-season losing Kaka and having their supporters
riot outside the stadium with the club’s lack of big-name signings,
but things are looking up since they won their first game away against Siena
2-1. AC Milan was happy to see Inter draw 1-1 at home against newly promoted
Bari in a match that Inter was heavily favored. It remains to be seen which
AC Milan club shows up for this derby game: the one that looked solid against
Siena or the one that looked poor in losses to Inter, Chelsea, and Bayern
Munich in the preseason.
Inter Milan is the favorite to win Serie A yet again, but they have not
started out the Italian season well losing to Lazio 2-1 in the Italian Supercup
and playing to a draw against lowly Bari in the first match day of Serie
A. The pressure is on Inter Milan in this match, as they do not want to
be facing a 5-point deficit after only 2 matches played. Inter has been
playing poor defense, as their team chemistry looks out of whack, as they
should have beat both Lazio and Bari. Inter may not have been very motivated
for those matches, but motivation will not be a problem taking on AC Milan
Inter is the slight favorite in this match posted at 2.50 with AC Milan
the slight underdog at 3.00 with a draw at 3.10.
AC Milan Recent Form:
8/22/2009 Siena 1 AC Milan 2 (Serie A)
8/17/2009 AC Milan 1 Juventus 1 (Berlusconi Trophy)
8/8/2009 Benfica 1 AC Milan 1 (Friendly)
7/30/2009 Boca Juniors 1 AC Milan 1 (Friendly)
7/29/2009 Bayern Munich 4 AC Milan 1 (Friendly)
Inter Milan Recent Form:
8/23/2009 Inter 1 Bari 1 (Serie A)
8/16/2009 Inter 1 Bahrain (Friendly)
8/8/2009 Lazio 2 Inter 1 (Supercoppa Italiana)
7/30/2009 Inter 1 AS Monaco 0 (Friendly)
7/27/2009 Inter Milan 2 AC Milan 0 (Friendly)
AC Milan is dealing with a few injuries, as goalies Nelson Dida and Christian
Abbiati, defender Daniele Bonera, and striker Davide Di Gennaro will all
miss this match. Newly signed Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is match fit, but will
probably not start in this match.
Midfielder Esteban Cambiasso and striker Marko Arnautovic will not play
in this match. Since Inter has had defensive problems in their last few
matches there may be a change, as Walter Samuel may replace Marco Materazzi
in the starting lineup. This may not be the only change in the lineup, as
head coach Jose Mourinho may mix things up for this derby match.
In the off-season defender Lucio was signed from Bayern Munich to shore
up an already stellar Inter defense, but his long runs up-field have created
holes in the defense.
Inter has lacked the creative midfield play that they have had in the past
and they must control the midfield in this match.
Inter goalie Julio Caesar has to be on in this match, especially if the
Inter defense continues to struggle.
Inter’s defense has to be on Thursday night, especially against the
young AC Milan striker Pato. He is a 19-year old Brazilian that has already
scored this season and he has a ton of talent. Inter must mark him all match
and not let him work his magic around the goal.
In Inter’s first 2 matches Samuel Eto’o has been solid and
he is the only player to score so far for the club. He has to get off to
a good start and work with his midfielders to create some scoring opportunities.
Eto’o and Diego Milito have to provide some offense for Inter in
this match. They have shown some flashes of brilliance together, but they
have yet to pile on the goals as they were expected to when they were brought
to Inter this off-season.
Jason’ Pick: Even though AC Milan is technically the home team this
match will be pretty even in terms of crowd support. I see Inter breaking
through in this match, as their defense will be solid and their offensive
firepower will show. I see Inter winning 2-0 or 2-1.