It's often easy for fan's and players to get caught up in big rivalry games. The Derby della Madonnina is no different, and when Inter and Milan take the pitch at the San Siro, things get crazy. In our scudetto season Milan was 2 for 2, but last year Inter got revenge, and this year while this game is one for the fans, at the end day it is still only worth three points and crucial for Milan. Often times we forget that regardless of the opponent, each and every game is worth the same, and with only seven points on the season, the team can't put to much into the "noise" surrounding this match and stay focused.
Personally I am not one for "noise" it is a distraction and doesn't allow the players, fans, and media to stay focused on what actually matters, the game. This game is chock full of storylines...all of them bumps in the road to a victory for this team. Yes, cASSano and Pazzini is a big story. The nutella loving rolly polly ollie is having a solid year for Inter, while Pazzini has been inconsistent after his three goal outburst. It is also important to note that depending on the starting line-ups it may be a derby debut of epic proportion for both teams, as the refresh for both Clubs is happening slowly but surely.
The more alarming concern I have is this talk that Milan will mirror Inter's 3-5-2. I am not even going to discuss the fact that this notion of the 4-2- Fantasia is still kicking around at Milan, but a 3-5-2 scares the death out of me. Let's consider the two most important elements of the formation, the three man back line and the wing backs, and tie back to Milan. We don't have two good CB's let alone three and without proper wingbacks, where does one get wingbacks!? Sure you can deploy fullbacks in those roles, but will it really accomplish what the formation is supposed to? Play in wide channels and counter? Frankly not really, we don't even have a left footed player!!! I will play the devil's advocate though and entertain this idea as follows:
Abbiati; Acerbi, Mexes, Bonera; Abate, Nocerino, DeJong, Prince, Ants; ElS, Binho
You have lots of quickness, lots of players comfortable with short quick passes, and decent work rate and balance. It is not ideal by far, especially the flanks, but if there is no other choice this is how you roll it out. DeSciglio while solid is not ready for this tactical jump, and while I can justify Pazzini up there, having players comfortable on the ball in this formation will allow Milan to take advantage of some potential 1 v 1's against Inter's back three.
What should happen instead is a more functional 4-3-2-1...
Abbaiti; Abate, Acerbi, Mexes, DeSciglio; Nocerino, DeJong, Urby; Monty, ElS; Pazzini
While this is also not ideal, it creates a Seedorf/Kaka type partnership with Monty and ElS, while giving Pazzini a chance to flourish up against the three man back line. It is an evolution of the 4-2-3-1 from midweek and gets Monty father from our goal and El Sharaawy a chance to roam and be dangerous. It also keeps balance in places where Milan may need it.
The moral of the story here is that tactically Milan is still a work in progress and the personnel doesn't exactly lead to a single formation or tactical deployment. I would rather Milan be more conservative in terms of tactics and see what comes then have to listen to hindsight bias fans about how 3-5-2 was a bad idea when many have been lusting for it as a Juventus copycat for months. Let's just go get the points, we can worry about tactics at a more acceptable time!