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Derby Della Madoninna Preview: Milan v Inter

Does a Derby still matter if nobody cares?

Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

A Derby for any Club and it's supporters is an intimate phenomenon.  In fact few Derby's have reached the high profile glamour matches that have graced the Clubs from Milan.  Of course there is El Clasico and the London Derbies but even those have not seen epic Champions League battles.  Once the derby is at the magnitude the upcoming middle of the table Derby for the many is a snooze fest.  To the true Milan fan it still means something and even if the season ends with this match and Milan finishes in the middle of the League the silver lining will always be did we beat Inter!

As for the match itself this time around I am a bit puzzled myself on the result.  This Milan team has been wildly inconsistent and difficult to read.  Will they concede two and go cold in front of goal or can they score more like in the Parma match?  Mancini will set his team up conservatively and to achieve maximum balance, which begs the question does Filippo Inzaghi throw some haymakers?

The two big questions for Inzaghi are at RB and CM.  Nigel De Jong may be deemed fit, but hamstrings are funny and all to often this Milan medical staff has rushed players back in that condition only to exacerbate.  It will be interesting to see who shoulders the blame if NDJ comes up lame in the first ten minutes.  Riccardo Montolivo is also back and play the CM but he to is fresh off injury and therefore a fitness risk.  The loss of Ignazio Abate, Milan's best and most consistent players on the season is the real problem as Inter will work the flanks when able.  Does Inzaghi go with Daniele Bonera or Pablo Armero?

The other big if is the False Nine or not, and if Inzaghi's Menez obsession will be his ultimate demise???  Playing Menez against the likes of Andrea Ranocchia, who is having a great season, makes things all to easy for the Nesta like CB. Pippo has to go Torres from the start, but I fear he won't make the correct call. Pippo we are pleading with you, NO MENEZ:

Abbiati; Armero, Rami, Mexes, DeSciglio; Poli, Monty, Muntari; Honda; Torres, SES

My lineup has a few very pointed changes.  Diego Lopez has started the last two, no wins, change it up! Matia DeSciglio is the future at LB not RB, he should never play RB again so it has to be Armero.  As much as it pains me there are few options left at CB so we go all French.  I don't start NDJ on the hamstring issue but he can come in, and up front it has to be two strikers in the 4-3-1-2.

At the end of the day a Derby is a Derby and it will be a good one!! See you all on Sunday at 2:45 EST.