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Key Battles and Prediction: Inter Milan v AC Milan

The Rossoneri will be eager to keep their 100% win record going but Inter have been terrifying this season.

AC Milan v Torino FC - Serie A TIM Photo by Jonathan Moscrop/Getty Images

AC Milan face Inter Milan in the first derby della Madonnina of the 2023/24 season. This is a big test for Stefano Pioli who has been bested by Simone Inzaghi four times this year. Milan have a couple of new starters and some more firepower in attack. Here are the key battles to look out for in this game:

Key Battles

Striker vs Centre back

Olivier Giroud vs Francesco Acerbi

Giroud spinning de Vrij to score the winner is one of the best derby moments for us in recent memory followed by some difficult games for us. Giroud is our big game player and has scored 3 goals against them. He has a big task against an in-form and imposing Acerbi. The backline is tall and strong so he will have to claw for every inch and find a small bit of space and be clinical with his strikes. We have not scored against them in four fixtures and this cannot go on.

Central midfielder vs Central midfielder

Nicollo Barella vs Tijjani Reijnders

This is a midfield battle for the ages. Two high intensity players who will cover lots of ground and drive the transition play. Reijnders has not faced a tough opponent in Serie A yet but Barella is as tough as they get. This will be a major test and a big opportunity to establish himself as one to watch in the league. This battle will be key as Inter kept beating us on physicality in the midfield in the previous four fixtures so it will be interesting to see if the additions of Reijnders and Loftus-Cheek do anything to balance the playing fiel.

Striker vs Centre back

Lautaro Martinez vs Simon Kjaer

Martinez has 5 goals in the opening 3 games of the season. Kjaer has 13 minutes in the league so far. This is a mismatch and can be our Achilles heel in the derby. Kjaer has a good understanding of the game and knows how to play to his strengths but the pace is a real issue and it does not seem like he can keep up with either Martinez or Thuram. The chemistry between Thiaw and Kjaer is also an unknown as they do not play together often so Maignan will need to be vocal to command the defence.


Giroud Winner

Barella Winner

Lautaro Winner