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Milan-Inter Preview: Bring It.

The time has come to leave it all on the pitch. Personally, I hope it is littered with assorted body parts and large quantities of blood and tears and other bodily fluids from the Nerazzurri players. When the dust settles after the Derby della Madonnina on Sunday night, I want the recently laid San Siro pitch to resemble a battleground after an epic battle, one in which there were no AC Milan casualties. This is true regardless of the score, it’s time to make those Biscioni pay.



After cooking up some Snake Soup in Beijing to snatch the Super Coppa trophy away from those dirty grass snakes, it seems they have come back from exile to slither up the Serie A table.  Not to mention their cunning and deceitful mercato meddling this week. It’s time we flush out those filthy Nerazzurri and send them back down the table where they belong.

The only trouble is the infestation has once again thrived under the watchful evil eye of Claudio Ranieri. It seems that Inter do actually have some talent, they just needed a real coach to organize them. He has restored balance to the team where Gasperini, bless his sweet soul, had sought to destroy any semblance thereof. The Biscioni have won their last 5 games in a row, including a 5-0 trouncing of poor Parma, which caused Parma to sack Colomba and bring in Donadoni midseason. So if we don’t win this for our own pride and Scudetto intents, or for the proper balance of the league, we should win this thing for Parma. I would personally be happy to give them a direct payback of a 5-0 defeat or more (although I will accept victory in any form.)

A position all too common for Inter players on the pitch

If we are to make Inter pay for… well, being Inter and everything else they’ve done, we have not only a solid run of form to interrupt, but an Inter squad that is nearly full strength, with Sneijder and Forlan rumored to be back for Sunday’s battle. Ranieri has been tinkering with his squad and is rumored to be looking to a 4-1-4-1 to take on the Rossoneri. While their back four will have their hands full with our lethal attack, he is clearly looking to bring the snake attack up higher in hopes of putting some fangs in their bite. Clearly, he has not watched our defense at full strength, or he would have already given up on this notion and simply lined up 11 across in front of his goal in hopes of simply not conceding to our awesome offense.

Snake charmer


Starting vs. Parma in a 4-4-2 last week was Cesar; Samuel, Lucio, Maicon, Nagatomo; Cambiasso, Motta, Alvarez, Zanetti; with Milito and “Snake Eyes” Pazzini in attack. It is hard to predict what Ranieri will do, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he worked in Forlan and or Sneijder into the starting lineup, depending on how he trusts their form just coming back. I also wouldn’t be surprised to see Ranocchia or Coutinho make a start in the place of wiser but perhaps more weary older players. Certainly, Inter do have a squad full of options, and Ranieri has been able to bring results with them regardless of lineup or formation. He will lovingly craft his starting 11 to bring optimal results, and he will also be happy to sub as early as necessary if he is not getting a result.

All our ducks in a row

Allegri, on the other hand is also carefully crafting his strongest starting 11. Despite Aquilani likely not being available due to injury and the obvious Cassano, Yepes, and Flamini injury omissions, he will have more options than he has had for a while, too. Perhaps Abbiati; Abate, Nesta, Silva, and either Zambrotta or Antonini in the back. Then hopefully van Bommel, Boateng, Emanuelson, and Nocerino in the midfield. (or throw Gattuso in there somewhere for maximum use of force, I’m fine with that.) Up front, I still trust Ibra and Pato. With all of the media circus this week, it would be the perfect time for Ibra and his little buddy to pair up and punish the Inter defense. And of course, Pato can make way for Pippo in the final 20-30 minutes, after he’s scored his fill, and Pippo and Ibra can clean house and make Inter fans everywhere cry their hearts out. (Thanks to John Cascarano from the Juventus Offside for this always entertaining photo!)

Let's give them something to cry about

But that’s just me. Anything can happen in 90 minutes, even more so in a derby. Injuries are never good. Well, except for Materazzi’s Ibra-induced concussion last year. That was hilarious.  But it’s not just the risk of injury. There have been 8 red cards handed down in the last 6 league Milan derbies, so it would be very impressive if there are still 11 aside when the battle is over. Referee Daniele Orsato will have his work cut out for him, and may struggle not to seem biased after Milan have been awarded so many penalties in recent matches.

The preferred method of exit for all Inter players

So AC Milan have to be prepared for an epic battle, to give 100% and then keep giving, possibly in spite of the ref. But we are driven to honor the Scudetto patches on our uniforms, confident in having already won a derby to kick off this season, and also just knowing that our team are not slithering, soulless, filthy snakes who will take a Scudetto handout, even if they didn’t earn it. They may just be snakes in the grass, but we are i Diavoli and we will hunt them down and eradicate them. I am glad they’re in top form, because I don’t want to hear them whine about injuries or other excuses at the end of the game. Win or lose, I will still hold my head high, because, not being a reptile, I can. And I say BRING IT.

The Derby della Madonnina
Milan vs. Inter
Sunday January 15, 2012 20:45 CET or 2:45pm EST
In the U.S., this game is being broadcast on FSC and RAI International


This post inspired by the music of Metallica