AC Milan take on Inter Milan in the derby tonight. Milan are winless in 5 while Inter have lost just 1 in the same five. Stefano Pioli will be switching the system to shock his opponents and hunt down a much needed positive result. Here are some key battles to look out for:
Striker vs Centre back
Olivier Giroud vs Francesco Acerbi
Giroud struggled to make anything happen in the Supercoppa a few weeks ago and only managed to get his first goal in 2023 last time out in a 5-2 loss. The Frenchman can always turn it on in a derby and a strong performance against them could save the season. Acerbi has done well against us this season but the added pressure from the losses should help the Rossoneri stay motivated and press through the lines.
Goalkeeper vs Striker
Ciprian Tatarusanu vs Lautaro Martinez
Tata tata tata ... Another tough 90 minutes for any Milan fan to get through. We conceded 3 against Inter, 4 against Lazio and 5 against Sassuolo. Let’s hope it’s not 6 tonight. Martinez has been on a roll against us and with another switch in defence, it seems unlikely we build any chemistry and allow some cheap goals as usual. Martinez will be raring at the opportunity to run at Kjaer if he is marking him while Dzeko has shown he can find the space in the box and clinical with his finishes.
Central defensive midfielder vs Central midfielder
Sandro Tonali vs Marcelo Brozovic
Pioli is looking to strengthen the midfield by switching to a 4-3-3 or a 3-5-2. More bodies in the midfield should allow us to slow down the approach play of our opponents on the counter. With Bennacer out, the responsibility to command the midfield falls to Tonali as Brozovic returns to pull Inter’s strings. The midfield battle will be a crucial determinant in the outcome of this game. Milan need to hold firm in the midfield and distribute the ball further up, if Tonali can do tis, we might have a shot.