League leaders AC Milan host their cross city rivals Inter Milan in the 204th meeting between them at the San Siro. Though Milan leads with the most number of wins in all meetings, there really is nothing to separate both sides.
Milan have won 72 of all the 204 meetings just one more than Inter with the pair each having scored an 279 goals in all meetings. However, today’s meeting will be very different.
If history is anything to go by, then Inter should have the upper hand in today’s game. Of all their 176 meetings with Milan, Inter have won 64 to Milan’s 60.
Moreover today’s match will be made even more interesting due to the protracted battle for Manchester City striker Carlos Tevez. Milan have since withdrawn their interest in Tevez after failing to reach an agreement and who once looked out of it are now the firm favourites to sign the Argentine.
That said, history cannot be relied upon. Milan are not leading the table by luck and Inter have totally shown that they can never be written off. The bad news for Milan is that Inter are a full strength squad.
The Nerazzurri will welcome back Sneijder, Forlan, Chivu and Julio Cesar have all been included in Ranieri 20 man squad for the crunch fixture. The title race could not get any tighter. Inter are 8 points behind the leading pair of Milan and Juventus.
Both Milan and Juve are level on points however, Milan lead the table due to their superior goal advantage. Juventus are looking to pick up all 3 points on offer when Cagliari pay them a visit at the Juventus Stadium and will be hoping that Inter can do them a favour by beating Milan.
Inter coach Claudio Ranieri is confident that his team can beat Milan and get right back in the title race.
“If we win we’ll be back in the running for the title and AC Milan will start to think that Inter are back. If we lose, then there are still twenty league games to go.” Ranieri said.
“Juve want me to do them a favour? We’ll do ourselves a favour first, although I don’t have a bad relationship with them. I’ve always said that I want to win the important games and I emphasised this against Napoli, Juve, and Udinese.
Milan on the other hand will be looking to put their troubles behind them with a win. The Rossoneri came close to selling Pato to get Tevez and though the deal did not go through, there remains tension in the team camp.
The good news however, is that their coach Massimiliano Allegri has signed a new deal that will extend his contract that will keep him with Milan until 2014.
So who will win the derby? Both sides are in good form and could walk away with all points on offer, however, my money is on Milan for obvious reasons.