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Milan-Inter Preview: Not Exactly



The Derby is the biggest game of the year. Even more so when Inter fans have been behaving badly. The desire to win is exponentially bigger. After Inter fans racially abused Kessie in the last Derby, it would be amazing to get redemption for him on the pitch. But unfortunately, Milan have a massive liability in our manager, Giampaolo. He will likely singlehandedly undermine any chance we had at winning this for Kessie or anyone else. Do I want to win? More than life itself. Do I think we can win? Not exactly.

#RedemptionForKessie

Inter come into this one top of the table, undefeated in three games. Which is usually when they award themselves the Scudetto. I mean they claim a paper Scudetto for the year they came in third, why not? They tank every year, then have to clamor back to the top ten, it’s how they roll. Unfortunately, we are meeting them in their Scudetto victory lap, so our chances aren’t as good for us. But then again, they drew to Slavia Prague in the Champions League this week, so anything is possible.

Inter are doing their best to buy trophies, since they can’t win them. They are paying Antonio Conte €11m a year. He has won Serie B, three Scudetti with Juventus, and a league title with Chelsea. To put that into perspective, Carlo Ancelotti has won one or more league titles in 4 different European leagues and won three Champions League titles with two different clubs, amongst many other trophies. He makes €5m a year and gets some good cappuccino at work. Additionally, Inter are still playing Spaletti €5.5m per year. Put that into perspective.  Inter also have the second highest wage bill in Serie A, at €139m annually. I guess when UEFA let them out of their FFP sanctions without actually making their goals after four years of a three year plan, they felt invincible.

Inter should be astonished at Paqueta... if Giampaolo doesn't think he's too Brazilian for the Derby

Will buying a Scudetto work? We all know that Inter only win by cheating. We talked about it on the last podcast. But for this match, it will likely work for them, more for our liability than their monetary expenditures. After all, they did beat newly promoted Lecce 4-0 in their opener. Sure, they had to rely on a penalty to beat Cagliari 2-1 after conceding a goal. And nevermind that their 1-0 defeat of Udinese was on ten men before they choked to Slavia Prague on Tuesday… at the San Siro… (are you sensing a downward spiral here?)

For their resounding win over 10 man Udinese last week, Conte lined up Handanovic; Godin, de Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Barella, Brozovic, Asamoah; Politano, Sensi; and Lukaku. Conte has a full squad available, barring perhaps Candreva, who will have to pass a fitness test ahead of Saturday’s match.

If only Ibra were going to be there to take care of their racist fans

Giampaolo only makes €2m per year, and that might be too much. When he came in June, I wrote about him and said he was “Not Exactly” the coach we needed. Since then, he has proven that he almost definitely is not the coach we needed. Going into this match, he is the great unknown. If there were a poll, he would be voted “most likely to not succeed.” He’s got the players to compete with Inter, but they won’t be able to impact the game from the bench. Or if he’s verbally abusing them. And don’t get me started on his press conferences. If delusion were out of touch with reality, then Giampaolo would be even more out of touch with reality than delusion.

Giampaolo will be missing Calabria, because for some reason, clotheslining your opponent is frowned upon, so he will be suspended for this match. Conti will undoubtedly fill in for him. Unless he is too “new” for Giampaolo, then maybe it will be Castillejo, who knows? Giampaolo loves him so much. Caldara is still not available, but everyone else is healthy. So expect Giampaolo to build his squad around Castillejo and Borini, and maybe try a formation they’ve never used before, just for fun. Who knows what he’ll do? Well we know he’ll criticize any player that has a good performance, that’s for sure.

"To the Death" 

For Milan fans, this Derby will be faced with trepidation, in the same way one might be frightened if they realized their tour guide while on vacation should actually be in a mental hospital. It doesn’t stop us from having that ravenous hunger to win, though. And at least we’ll know that Milan’s coreo will beat Inter’s without question, as it always does. We can only hope that after all of the talk about racist abuse that Lukaku suffered recently, their horrible fans will think twice about abusing any of our players. Okay, now I’m delusional. Will Milan take this one? Probably not. Will Giampaolo be a hero? Definitely not. But does any of that stop us from dreaming of a Derby win? Not exactly.


This post inspired by the music of The Cure’s “The Snakepit”


Serie A Week 4
Il Derby della Madonnina
Milan vs. Inter
Saturday, September 21 • 20:45 CEST (2:45pm EDT)
This match can be streamed LIVE on ESPN+ in the U.S.