By Daniel Buse
The whole city of Milan is waiting on the big game at the moment, as great rivals AC Milan and Inter are set to compete in a decisive clash on Sunday night at San Siro. After a disastrous start to the season that saw them change coaches from Gian Piero Gasperini to Claudio Ranieri, Inter have recently engineered a five-match winning streak and jumped up to fifth place in the Serie A standings. The gap to their opponents and joint-leaders, however, is still eight points - but they can, possibly, put themselves back into the Scudetto race with a winning performance in the derby.
Before the match, Goal.com casts a glance at the value of both teams - which side has the more marketable players?
Both clubs can boast a number of players from South America and also squad members with plenty of experience. This is certainly reflected in their market values, with older players being rated lower than emerging youngsters. While the club coached by Massimiliano Allegri have a formidable and expensively-assembled attack, Inter seem to have the edge in other areas.
|MARKET VALUES | Goalkeepers
(Data from transfermarkt.de)With Milan going without a truly recognisable world star between the sticks since the departure of Dida, Inter certainly have a more marketable No. 1 in Julio Cesar, who alone eclipses the value of Christian Abbiati and the Rossoneri's backup shot-stoppers to win the this specific duel between the posts.
|MARKET VALUES | Defenders
(Data from transfermarkt.de)Recently described by team-mate Zlatan Ibrahimovic as 'the most complete defender in the world', it is no surprise that Thiago Silva is worth an impressive €31 million. However, with Inter boasting an array of stars on the rise, like Andrea Ranocchia and Yuto Nagatomo, as well as Maicon, they eventually surpass a Milan defensive unit full of players whose careers are nearing an end, such as Alessandro Nesta, Gianluca Zambrotta and Mario Yepes.
|MARKET VALUES | Midfielders
(Data from transfermarkt.de)The Rossoneri midfield also boasts plenty of experience and thus a limited market value. Clarence Seedorf, Mark van Bommel, Gennaro Gatuso and Massimo Ambrosini, despite arguably being useful to Allegri, all languish near the bottom of the table. Kevin Prince-Boateng is the highest-valued midfielder for the red-and-black side, yet he is worth just half of €38m-rated Wesley Sneijder, who remains a reported target of Premier League champions Manchester United.
|MARKET VALUES | Strikers
(Data from transfermarkt.de)It is in attack that Milan truly trump Inter from a market standpoint. The price of their striking quintet doubles that of their city rivals. Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a truly world-class player, stands above the rest, while Pato, an improving talent, is worth a hefty €30m. Meanwhile, after selling star striker Samuel Eto'o in the summer to Russian giants Anzhi Makhachkala, president Massimo Moratti's club went for interim solutions - prising veteran Uruguay international Diego Forlan from Atletico Madrid and then Mauro Zarate on loan from Lazio. That strategy has been evident on the pitch this season as none of their strikers have consistently been able to find the back of the net.
Of course, this is all just a numbers game, and at 20.45CET this evening the match will be played on the pitch, rather than on paper, where the Nerazzurri's entire squad edge their opponents by a narrow €2.3m. Nonetheless, it will be interesting to see whether high-priced stars like Ibrahimovic or Sneijder are able to leave their mark on the derby della Madonnina or one of the lower-ranked players push their value higher with a scintillating performance.