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ICC Tournament • Milan-Inter Preview: Oh Hell No!


In case you have been denied the privilege of seeing the cultural phenomenon that is the Sharknado series of movies, the latest edition, Sharknado 3 “Oh Hell No!” premiered last night in all of its chainsaw shark fighting glory. Which made me think of our first derby of the preseason on Saturday. With a cast of random players, none of whom would be considered star billing, a mercato that has been highly implausible, and players still dropping like extras being eaten by falling sharks, this derby should be like the biggest Sharknado storm China has ever seen. But if Inter think that Milan are going down without a chainsaw fight, they’d better think again. Milan are like the legendary Fin Shephard, now the first member of the Order of the Golden Chainsaw. Inter are waiting for us in China? Oh hell no!



The parallels between the movie and this friendly are uncanny. Inter have taken this mercato by storm. Not just any storm, a highly improbable shark-filled tornado. The casualties are numerous, just like when live sharks fall from the sky and eat the unsuspecting extras and other expendable characters. Not just the Kondogbia transfer with Milan, but with other teams and players, too. Inter have inexplicably burst onto the radar and infuriated a lot of people this summer. But for this “friendly” they are dealing with Milan, on the pitch, and our chainsaws are waiting for them. Because it’s about family.

The last time we played i cugini in China, it was for the Supercoppa, and we made snake soup out of them. Granted, there was a trophy on the line, and we were fresh off of our Scudetto win, something that seems longer ago than the original Sharknado movie (well, because it was, actually.) In fact, it was so long ago that Pazzini and Muntari both played for the dark side at that point, and both players have come to Milan and also now left, like expendable characters in a movie about Sharknados. So much has changed, and yet so much has stayed the same.

Right city, wrong club. (revs chainsaw)

Mihajlovic has been handed the Milan chainsaw, and so appropriate that he will be facing an old frenemy in Mancini. Mihajlovic could probably smell that shark storm when he stepped off the plane in Shanghai. That’s probably because he smelled the shark blood from Tuesday’s friendly between Bayern Munich and Inter where Inter fell 1-0 like a Sharknado to an explosive device. For that match, Mancini lined up Handanovic; Montoya, Ranocchia, Murillo, Dimarco; Brozovic, Kovacic, Kondogbia; Hernanes; Palacio, Icardi. A strong lineup for a friendly, including their mercato storm purchases steals. It definitely appears like multiple Sharknadoes could merge to make this “friendly” threaten millions of Milan-loving fans in China. Oh hell no!

To face the sharks falling from the sky that are Inter, it’s anyone’s guess as to whom Mihajlovic will lineup. Well we know that he will start a contractually-obligated 4-3-1-2 system. We also know that Agazzi, Albertazzi, Zaccardo, Verdi, and Mastour will not be there. Like extras in a bloody shark film, they were left home, with Mastour going to South Africa to play with the Primavera next week. Also questionable for this match are Menez, due to his recovery from back surgery, and Bacca and Luiz Adriano, due to their recent arrival. It’s hard to know if Mihajlovic will continue to field the next generation of Milan players or if he’ll go with experience when pride is on the line. But with all of the positive changes to the squad, it is unlikely to see a lineup as unbelievable as Mark Cuban as President of the United States or Anthony Weiner running the control room at NASA.

The eye of the storm and the wielder of the chainsaw. Sorry, Mancini, family is always more important than friends.

Nothing I could write here could possibly be as horrifically brilliantly entertaining as what we’ll see on Saturday. Because if the match fails to impress, don’t worry, Sharknado 3 will be aired again Saturday night. But I expect to see chainsaws buzzing and sharkmeat flying everywhere. It is the least we can do, since Milan is the most popular Serie A club in China. Those fans deserve to see a bloodbath in Shenzhen from their Rossoneri heroes, even if they are probably still learning the names of this team, as we all are. So even if we have to go into space to make this happen, and explore every single improbable option to take down this Inter Sharknado, we have to do it. It’s not to become heroes, it’s for family. Will we let a Kondogbia transfer fail stop us? Oh hell no!


This post inspired by my most improbably favorite made for TV movie series ever


The ICC Tournament
AC Milan vs. Inter
Saturday, July 25 • 20:00 CST (8:00am EDT)
Shenzhen Universiade Sports Center, Shcnzhen
This match will be shown on FS1 here in the U.S.