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Milan-Inter Preview: Devilish Desires


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I don’t eat a lot of meat. I don’t really crave it much, actually. But I do have an insatiable appetite for snake blood. Because Inter. They are the club that is universally hated by other clubs and other fans, and that was even before Calciopoli. They’re not hated for winning, they’re just hated.  If they were to be relegated, I would throw a party that would never end. I indulge in the most exquisite schadenfreude every time they fail, because it makes me so very happy. So obviously, winning the Derby on Sunday would appeal to my most devilish desires.

We're coming back for more

Inter currently sit in fourth place on the table, which is about 16 places too high, if you ask me. And that placement is only due to some unintentionally good form at the beginning of the season. It’s certainly not based on their current run of form, where they went 10 games without a win. Oh, sure, they beat Bologna (thanks, ref!) and then lowly Benevento (thanks again, ref), with a loss to Genoa in between. But those results are too flattering anyway. And it’s not like they’re playing in three or even two competitions. They made sure to choke up their Europa League spot last year to hobble our efforts in the league this season, and we made sure they were no longer in the Coppa Italia in December. They can barely compete in one competition.

Because they need every advantage, fair or not, they won’t have played for eight days by the time the Derby comes around. We will have played two matches against top five teams within that time. Away. Because they need their beauty sleep (it won’t help, trust me,) and their magical spa days at Appiano Gentile. And their last game was against the mighty Benevento. For that match, Spaletti lined up: Handanovic; Ranocchia, Skriniar, D’Ambrosio, Cancelo, Rafinha, Gagliardini, Vecino, Eder, Perisic, and Candreva. Just one of those players probably cost more than Benevento’s entire squad. And even still, Inter's own fans whistled and booed them. Their big news is that Icardi is back. After taking some time off to scope out his teammate’s wives and post pictures of their kids online without permission, he will likely return to the starting lineup. Where he scored only two goals in his last seven starts. Not even Argentina wants him.

His own fans, even his own country don't want him

Gattuso has a bunch of tired legs, having played an intense 120 minutes on Wednesday and having had to train indoors for two days before that due to the snow in Rome. He wisely gave them Thursday off to recuperate a bit, but you know that today and tomorrow he will be cracking the whip. Which is fine, because he has managed to transmit his passion to the team to such levels that I think they would actually literally die for him in battle. On the pitch, at least, I can’t guarantee they would do well in an actual battle. Except Bonucci. He punches armed robbers in the face before breakfast. We are missing Conti still, Antonelli, too, but Storari not so much. And despite the lack of Storari sitting in the third keeper spot on our bench, we are unbeaten in 13 games. And counting.

This match has delicious written all over it. Il Derby della Madonnina is always an amazing match. Amazing because it’s always interesting to watch the cancer that literally came from AC Milan in 1908 try to compete with actual champions. They have spent and spent for years trying to buy their way to some trophies, but Milan have heart and grinta and a true team, even if that team still unfortunately includes Montolivo. And despite having tired legs, we have much better form. And better character, too. That doesn’t mean we’ll win, because during their eight day vacation, they had plenty of time to wiretap, call the refs, whine about calls, or otherwise try to cheat their way to a victory. But at the end of 90 minutes, we know that our players will have fought the good fight, fought fairly, and given everything they have for the crest. Because we have a crest that’s worth fighting for. We are Milan.


This post inspired by the music of Rammstein’s “Du Hast”


Serie A Week 27
il Derby della Madonnina
Milan vs. Inter
Sunday, March 4 • 20:45 CET (2:45pm EST)
This match will be shown on RAI Italia and BeIn Sports in the US