Milan-Inter Preview: Derby Obsession

There has been a strange quiet around Milan fans this week, and I have no idea why. I hope it is the calm before the storm. Not here, though. It’s all I can talk about, all I can think about, all I can dream about. My blood pressure is elevated and my breathing is faster in anticipation of this epic match. The Derby is always massive for me, it’s the one game I was able to see at the San Siro. But this match on Sunday has become my obsession. With Inter’s locker room in shambles (as predicted,) and their form dropping, it’s difficult not to salivate at the possibilities. Milan are stronger than they’ve been in years, with good results of late, and are a point above Inter. Going into the Derby in third place was unthinkable at the beginning of the season, and three points would be so massive for whichever team can take them. It’s become my Derby obsession.

"To the death"

At the beginning of the season, I predicted Inter’s locker room to fall apart, but they have well exceeded my expectations. Wanda Nara helped her husband/client/cheater/liar Icardi lose the armband with her big mouth, and he has refused to play since, costing him a callup for Argentina, too. Now it is reported that there are three factions in the dressing room, by nationality, and from the sound of things, Spaletti hasn’t entirely got control of his dressing room, either. The schism goes all the way up to the top, with various owners and management taking sides as well. So Karmalicious.

Embarrassing to watch a grown man have a tantrum

Also Karmalicious was watching Inter crash out of the Europa League on Thursday like little worms instead of the big biscione (grass snakes) they claim to be. For that match, Spaletti lined up Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, de Vrij, Skrinniar, Soares; Vecino, Valero; Candreva, Politano, Perisic; and Keita Balde. Spaletti will still be missing Icardi to his temper tantrum, and Nainggolan is definitely out due to an actual injury (or afraid of Biglia again.) Miranda broke his nose midweek and trained with a mask, but will also be out. Joao Mario and Palazzi are out and Brozovic is still uncertain due to fitness concerns. Vrsaljko is still out for the season as well. Missing mentality, cohesiveness and a bunch of key players after a demoralizing game on Thursday… anyone else besides me smell snakemeat?

Kessie takes no prisoners

However, Gattuso is in the opposite situation: Only Bonaventura is missing to injury, we did not have to play on Thursday, so are more rested, and mentality and cohesiveness are the strongest they’ve been in years. Oh, and it’s a home Derby, meaning most of the San Siro will be red and black. But one thing I love about Gattuso is his fierce humility. He and all of the players have emphasized that form doesn’t matter in the Derby. It’s a one-off, and anything can happen in 90 minutes. They are prepared for the epic battle, with full respect for their foes, wounded or not.

Another emotional hit for Inter is that their coreografia has been blocked, meaning they will not be allowed to display it. It was apparently a tribute to their fallen Ultra leader, Daniele Ballardinelli. He had been banned from the stadium due to many previous events, and was involved in the clashes with Napoli fans in December, where he was killed. I am not sure why it was blocked, however Milan’s coreografia has not been blocked, and I have not heard any rumors of the Curva Sud showing solidarity, so expect to see another brilliant piece of art from Milan’s thug artists. It’s okay, the Curva Nord have never been able to compete with the coreo anyway.

"When you're in hell, only the devil can save you"

As a fan, I have a hard time being realistic about the Derby. I am here with my bloodlust, planning for ways to Inter to lose. But even I have to respect the fact that anything can happen in a Derby. Like the way Icardi stole it from us in stoppage time in October. VAR is nothing if not used properly by the refs, and everything if used incorrectly. Contrary to Inter fans’ beliefs, calls do go their way, and calls do go against Milan. Players can be injured, they can be sent off. Mistakes happen, and the slightest mistake from one side can gift the match to the other side. As for me, I’ll be dreaming of humiliating those stupid snakes and more importantly, celebrating a Rossoneri victory. That is my Derby Obsession.

This post inspired by the music of The Prodigy’s “Firestarter”

il Derby della Madonnina
Milan vs. Inter
Sunday, March 17 • 20:30 CET (3:30pm EDT)*
*note the time difference due to U.S. Daylight Savings Time
This match can be streamed live on ESPN+ in the U.S.

Milan-Inter Preview: Derby Obsession Milan-Inter Preview: Derby Obsession Reviewed by Elaine on 12:16 PM Rating: 5
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