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It is almost time...

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I never get sick of that one.

I can not remember a Serie A derby with this much riding on it for as long as I have been a Milan fan. This is possibly because I have spent the last 5-10 years drinking heavily on Saturday nights rendering Sunday morning games difficult to remember, or because Inter has sucked for so long that when the team played it was a forgone conclusion that despite the score the Red and Black would always come out on top. Nothing has gone as planned this season and this game is no different, a win gives Inter the third straight scudetto (their first semi-real one of the bunch), while a loss makes things a bit tighter at the top. A win for Milan helps keep up the pace for CL football with the Viola and gives bragging rights for a few days if not the whole summer, while a loss puts an end to the hopes of CL football next season and may even spark a rebuilding revolution for the Rossoneri (I won’t address that issue unless I absolutely have to after the game).

We all remember the roll coaster that was the last Derby, and our man on the inside Fetyani was there to live the whole thing and bring back videos of Pirlo’s epic goal. But what started smartly ended poorly putting on damper on the Rossoneri and effectively ending the career of Nelson Dida at the San Siro (one can hope). The antagonist of that game was not the usual suspects of Ibra, Matrix, and old man Figo. Instead it was my new most hated man in the Blue and Black, Esteban Cambiasso. The only thing old Esteban has going for him in my book is the fact that he was man enough to get rid of the three hairs on top of his head,
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and go straight bald, a sad state of affairs for the Esteban/Gianfranco relationship.

His right place right time, and perfectly placed shots make me want to gag, and I can’t tell you how many times I have had to stomach his shiny head earning points for Inter. All this Esteban bashing means one thing, Carletto has to sick the snarling dog on him and Rino needs to work his magic and make sure Cambiasso has no impact on this game whatsoever. Heck if you can stop CRon, you can stop Esteban, and Rino is well aware of this.

Inter have been playing hit or miss football since being eliminated from the CL, and the run up to this game is more hit than miss. Mancini has gotten strong smart play from his attack consisting of two unlikely heroes on a team featuring Ibra and Suazo. Let me address Suazo for just a second, because the wound has still not healed. David, is this what you wanted when you said you wanted to “play” for Inter. You have been exposed for being a money hungry striker who cares not about playing time but of collecting his paycheck. Someone had to fill Recoba’s shoes and you my friend are just that man, you would have been a star in the Red and Black working hand in with Pato but instead you are sharing stories and bench time with Hernan Crespo, great choice David, GREAT CHOICE. Phew I got that out of my system, now the strikers who actually play and produce.

The strong play has come out of Cruz and youngster Mario Balotelli who is slowly making a name for himself in the Serie A. The youngster has flashes of greatest but has yet to really show me the strong 90 minute commitment needed in all Serie A games. Either way Cruz, Balotelli, Suazo, or whoever else Mancini decides to throw out there will have to be contained by Nesta and the rest of the defense this weekend.

The key to victory for the Rossoneri this weekend will most definitely be the ability of the strikers to keep the pace that they have set the past two weekends. It also can’t be denied that the success of Pippo and company has been through the help of the midfield, Seedor, Pirlo, and Kaka finally firing on all cylinders and playing the type of football that we are all used to. This is thanks to none other than Rino and Ambro who have dominated the center circle in the past two weeks and really allowed their creative teammates to do the rest. Maybe they were tired, maybe they were out of form but whatever it was back then it has past now and they need to keep moving forward.

I am going to lay off the musings for the next few days because I think the Inter game is enough to think about and worry about for the next few days. The Viola have lost in the UEFA Cup and it was a travesty for Italy as well as FIFA. Instead of a Fiorentina v. Bayern final that everyone was craving we instead have a no name Russian squad versus the Glasgow Rangers. We can only hope that the Viola will be heartbroken and looking past Cagliari this weekend, and drop of points.

I look forward to reading all your thoughts before the derby and look forward to Sunday to as well. If we thought we needed a win in the CL, this is one is for much much more. FORZA MILAN!