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Played
February 24, 2013 7:45 PM GMT
Stadio Giuseppe Meazza — Milano
Referee:‬ P. Mazzoleni‎
Attendance:‬ 79341‎
 

Inter-AC Milan Preview: Balotelli return sets stage for a fiery Derby della Madonnina

The Italian striker has had an electric start to his career with the Rossoneri and will be hopeful for momentum to continue against one of his former clubs

By Tom Webber

Mario Balotelli - Milan
AFP
  PROBABLE LINEUPS


INTER


Handanovic
Zanetti, Chivu, Juan, Nagatomo
Kuzmanovic, Kovacic, Cambiasso
Guarin
Palacio, Cassano

AC MILAN
AC Milan
Abbiati
Abate, Zapata, Mexes, Constant
Montolivo, Ambrosini, Muntari
Bojan, Balotelli, El Shaarawy

Inter host an AC Milan side which includes former Nerazzurri star Mario Balotelli, as both clubs target victory at the San Siro to mount a push for automatic Champions League qualification.

Andrea Stramaccioni has some new faces of his own as, despite being January additions to the Inter ranks, Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Mateo Kovacic have already become regulars in the starting XI. The pair should both feature from kick off but with Alvaro Pereira suspended Dejan Stankovic could be called in to provide more experience in midfield.

Andrea Ranocchia is not expected to feature due to injury, so Christian Chivu will return to the fold, with Yuto Nagatomo beginning the game from left-back having been rested during the midweek Europa League win over Cluj.

Mario Balotelli will make his return to the Derby della Madonnina, though this time he will feature on the side of the Rossoneri. The striker was ineligible for Wednesday's victory against Barcelona and could be supported in attack by on-loan Blaugrana talent Bojan.

With Antonio Nocerino, Mathieu Flamini and Nigel de Jong all sidelined, Massimiliano Allegri is unlikely to make changes to his midfield trio.

  DID YOU KNOW?
  • Inter have won the last three meetings between these two sides, two of which ended 1-0.
  • A fourth-minute goal from Walter Samuel handed the Nerazzurri all the points in the reverse of the fixture earlier this season.
  • Andrea Stramaccioni's men are undefeated in their last 10 home matches in Serie A.
  • Zdravko Kuzmanovic and Mateo Kovacic (pictured right) could both make their Derby della Madonnina debut this weekend.
  • Milan sit in third position in the table, just one point above their fifth-placed opponents.
  • The Rossoneri last shared the spoils with Inter 20 games ago, a record which stretches back to October 2004.
  • Milan hold the upper hand in terms of derby wins, boasting 81 triumphs to their arch-rival's 77.
  • Massimiliano Allegri's men are currently on an eight-game undefeated run in the league.


Field Report
Reader's Predictions
Top 3 Predictions
Head to Head
Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Dec 22, 2013 FC Internazionale 1 - AC Milan 0
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Feb 24, 2013 FC Internazionale 1 - AC Milan 1
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Oct 7, 2012 AC Milan 0 - FC Internazionale 1
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ May 6, 2012 FC Internazionale 4 - AC Milan 2
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Italy - Serie A ‎(ITA1)‎ Jan 15, 2012 AC Milan 0 - FC Internazionale 1
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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
1Samir HandanoviçGoalkeeper
4Javier ZanettiDefender
23Andrea RanocchiaDefender
55Yuto NagatomoDefender
5Juan JesusDefender
11Ricardo ÁlvarezMidfielder
13Fredy GuarínMidfielder
19Esteban CambiassoMidfielder
5Walter GarganoMidfielder
8Rodrigo PalacioStriker
99Antonio CassanoStriker
-Vid BelecGoalkeeper
30Pablo CarrizoGoalkeeper
26Cristian ChivuDefender
-Simone PasaDefender
15Ibrahima MbayeDefender
2JonathanDefender
10Dejan StankovicMidfielder
-Ezequiel SchelottoMidfielder
10Mateo KovačićMidfielder
17Zdravko KuzmanovicMidfielder
24Marco BenassiMidfielder
9Tommaso RocchiStriker
32Christian AbbiatiGoalkeeper
2Mattia De SciglioDefender
5Philippe MexesDefender
17Cristian ZapataDefender
20Ignazio AbateDefender
4Sulley MuntariMidfielder
-Antonio NocerinoMidfielder
9Kevin-Prince BoatengMidfielder
18Riccardo MontolivoMidfielder
45Mario BalotelliStriker
92Stephan El ShaarawyStriker
1Marco AmeliaGoalkeeper
59GabrielGoalkeeper
4Bartosz SalamonDefender
33Mario YepesDefender
3Luca AntoniniDefender
81Cristian ZaccardoDefender
-Bakaye TraoréMidfielder
21Massimo AmbrosiniMidfielder
11Giampaolo PazziniStriker
9M'Baye NiangStriker
-Bojan KrkicStriker
Players to Watch
Fredy Guarín
Fredy Guarín
Position: Midfielder
Squad Number: 13
Games Goals YC RC
28 3 5 0
The Colombian has been playing well in the hole behind the strikers and is expected to offer support from such a position once more this weekend. Not only does he have the eye to pick out a pass, he can execute it with unerring accuracy. He also has the ability to test the opposing goalkeeper with a tremendously powerful shot that comes as just one of the strings to his bow. If he can find space to drift in to, then, he has the talent to unlock the defence and give Milan plenty of problems.
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli
Position: Striker
Squad Number: 45
Games Goals YC RC
25 13 11 1
Returning to face the club where he was part of a team that won an historic treble under Jose Mourinho in the 2009-10 season, Balotelli is in red-hot form. The Rossoneri new-boy has netted four goals in his first three appearances for Allegri's men and having had a week-long rest he will be keen to continue his goal-scoring record on Sunday. When he is in the mood he can be almost unplayable, but if things do not go his way, then, his impact can be next to minimal. Milan will be hopeful he picks up where he left off following the 2-1 win over Parma and return to haunt his former employers.
Prediction
Inter have won the last three Milan derbies, but coming off the back of a well-earned win against Barcelona in midweek AC Milan will have momentum on their side. The players will now have a new-found confidence and will be eagerly anticipating the match against their fiercest rivals. But the Nerazzurri showed signs of recovery from last weekend's humiliating 4-1 defeat at the hands of Fiorentina with a comfortable win over Cluj on Thursday. These teams have not shared the spoils for 20 matches now but Massimiliano Allegri's men should have enough about them to shade a win.
Editor's Prediction
Inter 1
Milan 2
Results
 
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