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Supercoppa Preview: Derby to Go

Saturday, half a world away from Milano, Inter and AC Milan will battle for the Supercoppa trophy. Oddly enough, this is the first time that these two teams will meet in this specific competition, which has been held since 1988. But with both teams having reached the Supercoppa match 8 times, and each winning the trophy 5 times, this one will be the tiebreaker to take top spot. This Supercoppa also marks a return of the preseason match to Beijing, where it was first held in 2009. I’d like one Supercoppa trophy to go, please.


“No one knows a son better than the father.” This Chinese proverb is especially true of the derby matchup. AC Milan being the proverbial father, with Inter having split away from us, we knew Inter well enough to defeat them in both derbies under Allegri last season. Milan looked a little sluggish in the first match of the Audi Cup, but the second game was much stronger, and only the dreadful PK showing is misleading. Whereas more recently, Inter beat Celtic 2-0 only to then be beaten themselves, 3-0 by Manchester City.

But more important than preseason results is the stability factor. Inter have a new coach in Gian Piero Gasperini. And while I admired the man before he sold his soul to the dark side, I question whether or not he is ready for the pressures of a bigger club, particularly the task of kissing Moratti’s butt while still trying to appear dignified with his players. Well, that and he is likely to continue in Leo’s tradition of little to no defense at all, forcing his preferred 3-5-2 lineup on the Nerazzurri. Meanwhile, Milan have a confident, Scudetto-wielding Allegri stepping into his second season with the club. Advantage AC Milan.

As for the surprise factor, Walter Samuel being back should, in theory, bring a little stability to their back line. Except with the new formation, maybe not so much. But it is unclear if new signing Ricky Alvarez and back from loan Sulley Muntari will surprise or disappoint.

The Rossoneri are unstable at the left back position once again due to Taye Taiwo serving a one match suspension he carried over from Marseille. So back to the unknown on the left. And Allegri is also bringing a youth contingency of Valoti, De Sciglio and Paloschi. If they are given playing time, they could also surprise or disappoint. Still, I’d give Milan the advantage here, too, not only because we have all of our South Americans with us, but also because we know that Allegri likes to play it safe.

GOOD   vs.   EVIL

“Fortune does not come twice. Misfortune does not come alone.” Another Chinese proverb for this matchup. Not only will Milan want to ensure that Inter do not repeat their fortune of winning the Supercoppa twice in a row, Inter have already suffered 2 big injuries preseason. Both goalkeeper Viviano and defender Nagatomo have been injured, forcing them to call up Julio Cesar and Javier Zanetti from their vacations. This may work to their benefit, to add two veteran players to their squad. Or it may work to their detriment, to bring back two older players who have barely returned to training and are not likely to be match fit. But considering they are also still missing their other South American players, it may not even balance out.

Milan have had some slight misfortune in that Mexes is still not recovered, and Pippo, El Shaarawy, Oddo, and Flamini are injured and did not travel with the team. Still, with the depth we have and the stability, I say advantage Milan here, too. Particularly considering that the color red in China represents good luck, fortune should be in our favor.

This cookie accurately predicts the winner.

Speaking of good luck, Serie A has sent who I think is one of their very best refs in Nicola Rizzoli. I know that every ref has pissed someone off somewhere, and one bad call earns them a liefelong grudge. But Rizzoli is as consistent and fair as a ref can be perceived as being. One of his strengths is being able to maintain a calm atmosphere on the field, which is why he often gets called up in derbies and other big matches. Advantage all players and fans and especially the good people of China.

“All crows in the world are black.” This Chinese proverb is why AC Milan must win this one. I have been very clear before that my hatred of Inter is only exceeded by my love of Milan. They are more than just a city rival to me, they represent pure evil. All crows are black, indeed. And that was before Calciopoli. How could they have known, so long ago, that i biscioni were the perfect mascots for these lying, cheating, thieving, sniveling pathetic, whining, slimy little losers? They didn’t even pick a real snake, or one with actual venom. And now, when all that has been said against them regarding their role in Calciopoli has been proven to be true and then some, they are hiding behind a legal loophole, just like a tiny grass snake in the tall grass. Enough.

For me, this is an epic battle of good versus evil. And Milan need to cleanse poor China of its snake infestation, for the sake of Serie A, of China, and also for cute little bunnies everywhere. Moratti and Inter may have violated and defiled all of Serie A and robbed them of five Scudetti as well as the respect of the world, but on Saturday, Milan can make them pay on the pitch, like real men do.

In the land whose virtues include loyalty, respect, benevolence, and righteousness, let’s show China how we can honorably embrace these virtues in battle, and still punish these damned little snakes by taking back their trophy. A victory for Milan is a victory for Serie A, and for the good of all mankind.


This post was inspired by the music of Prodigy