The new season in Italy kicks off as the winners of the country's domestic honours last season face each other in the Chinese capital, with the Super Cup trophy at stake
|AC Milan (4-3-1-2): Abbiati; Zambrotta, Nesta, Silva, Abate; Seedorf, Van Bommel, Gattuso; Boateng; Ibrahimovic, Pato
The Serie A champions will be without their two new Bosman acquisitions in defensive duo Taye Taiwo, who carries over an ongoing suspension from his Marseille days, and Philippe Mexes, who is still nursing a knee injury.
In addition, coach Massimiliano Allegri will probably opt for Gianluca Zambrotta at left-back in the absence of Taiwo, and Kevin-Prince Boateng should get the nod ahead of Robinho in the central attacking-midfield berth. Ignazio Abate appears to have recovered from a flu virus in time, and should retain his place at right-back.
|Inter (3-4-3): Cesar; Chivu, Samuel, Ranocchia; Santon, Motta, Sneijder, Zanetti; Eto'o, Pazzini, Pandev|
Gian Piero Gasperini prepares to oversee his first competitive fixture in charge of the Coppa Italia holders, in which he must contend with the absences of Copa America participants Lucio, Maicon, Esteban Cambiasso and Diego Milito, plus Emiliano Viviano and Yuto Nagatomo, with the latter pair injured. Also, Dejan Stankovic has picked up a potential knee injury in a training session in China and could be unavailable.
However, goalkeeper Julio Cesar and defender Cristian Chivu keep their respective places in the side, whilst captain Javier Zanetti reclaims his place on the right-hand side, and Davide Santon comes in for the injured Nagatomo on the opposing flank. In addition, Giampaolo Pazzini comes in to lead the line, with Eto'o pushing out to the left-wing and Goran Pandev replacing Ricky Alvarez on the right.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Inter and Milan are the joint-most successful sides in Supercoppa history, with five wins each.
- Inter are set to feature in their seventh consecutive Supercoppa fixture.
- However, this will be Milan's first appearance since 2004, coincidentally their last Supercoppa victory.
- Surprisingly, this is the first ever time both sides will face eachother in Italy's traditional curtain raiser.
- This will be the second time that the Supercoppa is held in Beijing; the previous being in 2009.
- It is also the fifth time the match is being hosted outside of Italy; the other three times occurred in 1993, 2003 and 2004, in Washington, Tripoli and Washington again respectively.
- Milan have the upper hand in 'Derby della Madonnina', with 105 wins in 274 encounters with Inter; Inter have won 95.
- Filippo Inzaghi and Dejan Stankovic are the derby's top scorers still plying their trades for their respective sides, with four goals each.