Before Sunday’s Derby della Madonnina between Inter Milan and AC Milan, M.A. Clark from SBNation’s Inter blog Serpents of Madonnina was kind enough to answer some of our questions.
I also answered some of their questions, so be sure to check that out as well.
#Inter legend Diego Milito believes the #DerbyDellaMadonnina against #ACMilan “will be a balanced game”, and hopes Lautaro Martinez can make the difference. https://t.co/nu9MlJhkKC #FCIM pic.twitter.com/S3TVso0JdP— footballitalia (@footballitalia) October 18, 2018
1. How are the new players settling in?
After a bit of an adjustment period, I think most of the new additions for Inter are finally settling. Radja Nainggolan has been the most prolific addition to the squad, but one player that may have flown a bit under the radar has been Mateo Politano. Politano is likely the most active on the pitch when he is in the lineup and his ability to create chances has been a nice bright spot for the Nerazzurri. Nainggolan, after coming off injury, has shown just why Luciano Spalletti wanted to bring him in from Roma in the first place. I also think Stefan De Vrij and Kwadwo Asamoah have proven their worth on the defensive side. Conversely, Sime Vrsaljko has been struggling with injury, but has shown some potential. Getting his first goal of the season was big for Lautaro Martinez. There were initial concerns about having Martinez and Mauro Icardi coexist, but I haven’t seen any real problems with that relationship. Keita Balde has probably been the biggest let down. He hasn’t really produced on the pitch, but that could be attributable to the fact that other players have seemed to step up more.
2. Is the team about where you would have expected them to be in the table at this point in the season?
Going in, I really wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of where the team would be. I guess I am a little surprised by them being third in the table, especially considering how they started the season and adding in all the new faces to the mix. In my mind, they should be about where they are at this point, all things considered.
3. Is the drama surrounding Mauro Icardi’s new contract finally over?
I’m not really sure if there was a lot of drama with Icardi’s contract to begin with. I think that is part of the reason why neither Icardi or the club are really pushing to get something done right away. Obviously he should earn more and, obviously, the buyout clause needs to be higher and I think Wanda Icardi — Mauro’s wife and agent — along with Piero Auslio — Inter’s sporting director — have basic parts of an extension agreed to already, so I don’t know that this will produce much in the way of drama on the pitch or with Interisti.
Two wins from two!— Goal (@goal) October 4, 2018
Inter boss Luciano Spalletti is a happy man after his side put themselves in a good position to qualify for the Champions League knockout stage with victory over PSV.#FCIM #UCL pic.twitter.com/Yyqfsvvnx5
4. Are the Champions League results a trend or did Inter get lucky?
I have to say the result against Tottenham Hotspur was a bit surprising. Inter came in clearly the underdog in that match and it was interesting to see Tottenham really peter out as the match went on. That was what allowed Inter to get back into it and subsequently win it. Tottenham’s lone goal was a bit of a gift. Inter and PSV Eindhoven were bit more even going into their match — especially considering the match was in Eindhoven. PSV had been riding a bit of a domestic high, but just like with Tottenham, they kind of fizzled out as the game progressed. The real test will be the back-to-back fixtures with Barcelona. With the first match being at Camp Nou, it will be a real indicator as to whether Inter has been lucky or not.
5. Predict the score.
Gonzalo Higuain has been on a tear of late and will be a real force to reckon with. Against Inter, he has scored six goals in nine appearances against the Nerazzurri, so he shown he can find the back of the net against Inter. Cutrone, on the other hand, has not been as prolific against Inter. But, this is the Derby, so you can basically throw all of this out of the water. I can see a 2-1 win for Inter with Icardi getting a brace or Icardi and Nainggolan combining for the win.