They’ll be playing Milan’s second derby of the weekend at the Vismara on Sunday.
A few talking points before the game
Milan have shown a willingness to vary their formations this season. For the first four matches of the season, the team lined-up in a 4-3-1-2. During the last match against Empoli, they lined-up in a 3-5-2. The formation worked out well for Milan, as they used it to snuff out the Azzurre’s deadly attack and were the first team to keep a clean sheet against them.
Inter Milan also field a 4-3-1-2 as well. However, the difference between the two is that Milan plays like a more cohesive unit. The Nerazzurre, on the other hand, tend to look rather lost on the pitch.
This is in large part due to their coach, Attilio Sorbi. Sorbi, for all intents and purposes, seems to be tactically inept.
This is most evident by the fact that he has a talented squad full of promising players, yet he squanders their potential in various ways. Examples of this are how he plays certain players out of position (e.g. Martina Brustia, a midfielder, is fielded as a fullback by Sorbi).
Or, he chooses to leave them on the bench for long periods of time (more on that later).
If Milan are to win this match, then they will have to use their willingness to be tactically flexible to their advantage. Look for them to either field a 3-5-2 again, or play four at the back, in order to neutralize the Nerazzurre.
The Bright Lights are being snuffed out
As was noted before, Inter Milan’s two best players are Gloria Marinelli and Beatrice Merlo. Unfortunately, we have yet to see the best of either player this season.
Both players have been benched by Sorbi rather sporadically this season. At times, whatever minutes they do get usually come in the later stretches of the game. Marinelli, for example, came on in the 60th minute for Inter during their game against AS Roma.
It was perhaps fortunate for Inter that she was able to rescue a point for the game through a goal. However, the fact that she’s being benched hurts her potential to grow as a player. That not only hurts Inter but it hurts Italy as well, as one of the country’s brightest prospects isn’t being given the time she needs to improve as a player.
However, Marinelli and Merlo might get more minutes against Milan this game. Sorbi might want to field Marinelli from the start given the great attacking threat she poses. She has the potential to do great damage, and the coach is aware of this.
And since Martina Brustia got a red card in the match against Roma, Sorbi will be forced to play Merlo in her place.
Merlo in her natural position as a right-back might do wonders for Inter, as it means they’ll be fielding their strongest defender. It might improve their chances to come away from the game with a point as well.
In response to this, Milan will have to use every weapon in their arsenal to diffuse Inter’s two biggest weapons.
How Milan can win the match
Milan will be able to win the match on the strength of their maturity, their sense of togetherness, and the fact that they have a coach who cares about them.
Expect the two Lauras, Fusetti and Agard, to put in a shift at the back and to snuff out Inter’s threat. Expect Linda Tucceri Cimini to work alongside them in order to help the Rossonere keep a clean sheet.
Milan’s forward line hasn’t been as clinical as we’d like them to be, however, they still have enough in them to produce the goals when it counts. Forward Natasha Dowie has been in fine form lately, so much so that she’s been named the AIC player of the month for her efforts.
Expect her to score a few goals too.
Whatever the case may be, let’s just hope that the Rossonere emerge from this match the victors and claim all three points.
The women have the chance to make it two for two this weekend.
And what a perfect weekend it will be from Milan if we end it by winning both derbies.