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Milan-Inter: The Trouble With Snakes

People glibly make jokes about the number of Scudetti that Juve do or don’t have, but no one ever talks about why that number is in question. In the Calciopoli scandal, a lot of hands were bloody, and Milan and Inter’s were actually much more bloody than Juve’s once all of the evidence was discovered. Milan got away with minimal punishment, but Inter were unscathed. Why? Because they orchestrated the whole thing and conveniently withheld all of the evidence implicating them until the statute of limitations ran out, like the snakes that they are. Forget Juve, what about Inter’s paper Scudetto? Or the treble they won after taking their competitors out of the equation and raiding their best players? That’s the trouble with snakes. People say the Derby della Madonnina is a family affair, but for me it will always be a grudge match.

He always wanted to wear this jersey

Milan have not won a derby since the Supercoppa in 2011 in Beijing, when we made Snake Soup out of our cousins. And that includes the derby a year ago October, when I made the pilgrimage to the San Siro for my one and only live Milan match. So I have developed quite the thirst for snake blood over these past three years, and it will not be satisfied until we have eradicated i Biscioni properly. And what better time to do it than when it is a home match for us?

Inter sit in 5th place, with 57 points, 6 points ahead of us. So a Milan win in the derby would give us a chance to perhaps catch them, should Lazio and/or Chievo also pull off wins. But it is more likely that any or all of Inter’s final three matches will end in a draw, as their claim to fame this season is the most draws in Serie A, with a whopping 15 and counting. That’s almost half of their matches. Which sounds about right, because Inter have never been a team who wins on their own merits. Like a parasite, they take advantage of the success of others. Drawing matches is perfect for them, since they are stealing points from their opponents once again without actually winning.

You may also hear those Grass Snakes whining about only getting one penalty call all season long. (I’m sure Moratti is wire-tapping everyone in the league again to create a match-fixing scandal about that and withhold evidence again.) But the truth is, the one penalty they did get was saved. They complain about the referees, but when they are given the call, they can’t take advantage of it. That’s the trouble with snakes. I would hide that evidence, too, if I were them.

Mazzarri’s mediocre football has managed to put them in a position to qualify for the Europa League next season, where Serie A teams not called Milan compete and disappoint year after year. So they will be perfect. And honestly, I don’t want Europa League for Milan next year, as I’ve said repeatedly, so I hope they draw their way into an extra competition next season where the only way they’d win would be to cheat. But I still can’t root for them to win the derby. Instead, I will cheer for Torino, Lazio, Verona, and Parma, and hope that I still get to taste that snake blood come Sunday night.

Not that it matters, but in their snoozefest 0-0 draw with Napoli last week, Mazzari lined up Handanovic; Andreolli, Campagnaro, Ranocchia; Kovacic, Cambiasso, D’Ambrosio, Nagatomo, Hernanes; Palacio, and Icardi. It seems  Mazzari is only missing Juan Jesus, but even with virtually a full squad, everyone knows that grass snakes have no bite. So many story lines here, though, as this will be the legendary Zanetti’s last derby before he retires, Icardi needs to be taken out for crimes against human decency, and the first “Samurai Derby” with Honda facing off against Japanese NT teammate Nagatomo.

Of course, it wouldn't be Milan if we didn’t have some stories of our own going on. Like the undenied rumors that Seedorf could be coaching one of his last matches for Milan. Which is ridiculous. The man gave up his playing career to answer the call, he actually helped lift the Supercoppa trophy the last time we defeated Inter, and Milan are going to lose faith in him already? Another reason I’d like to show those snakes a thing or two, for pride and bragging rights for Seedorf, who played for both teams himself.

Three protagonists, let's hope for a different ending this time.

Another big story is that El Shaarawy could be available for the match, having played 75 minutes with the Primavera last weekend. Whomever Seedorf does or does not line up will surely be fodder for his sacking rumors, but he has almost a complete roster to choose from, so I’m simply hoping he’ll choose the ones who will punish i Cugini the most. Goals by any or all of Balotelli, Pazzini, Silvestre, Muntari, and Poli (all ex-Inter players) would be fine by me.

The trouble with snakes is that they can shed their skin, but they will always be cold-blooded, slithering, legless, spineless pests which must be eradicated. That’s right, I hate Inter. More than anything else in this world. There is no rivalry with me, after what they did to Serie A and how they claim to have won the same number of Scudetti as us, I want them to be punished. Even at the expense of Milan, by qualifying for Europa League just to take them down. The trouble with snakes is that there are just too many of them.

This post inspired by the music of Front 242’s “Headhunter”

Milan vs. Inter
Sunday, May 4 • 20:45 EST (2:45pm EDT)
This match will be shown LIVE on RAI in the US
Check comments for stream links ahead of match