AC Milan v Inter Milan
This is easily the biggest game between two Italian teams for many years and the beauty is that we get to watch it twice. AC Milan and Inter will have played each other five times by the end of this Champions League semi-final tie and currently, it is 2-1 in favour of Inter.
The San Siro is of course sold out for both games and both sets of ultras have got incredible tifos planned for the games. The spectacle will be just as thrilling off of the pitch as it will be on it.
Writing an Inter bet builder or an AC Milan bet builder has not been the easiest thing this season with both teams being incredibly inconsistent and largely underachieving in a domestic sense. Making AC Milan vs Inter predictions is no easy feat. Both sides are at serious risk of missing out on the top four which could mean they are not even in the Champions League next season.
AC Milan and Inter do come into this Champions League tie off the back of crucial wins against Roman opposition, though. The Rossoneri beat Lazio 2-0 at home which tightens the top four fight right up, whilst Inter won at the Stadio Olimpico against AS Roma. Romelu Lukaku scored there, showing that he is getting closer to some sort of form at the end of the season.
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AC Milan limited without Leao
The fact that Rafael Leao is expected to be, at best, on the bench for this first leg against Inter is the worst news that Milan could have gotten. There are other key players in the team, but everyone is aware that he is the best player that they have.
Even though he has struggled at times this season, he has returned to form recently. He was instrumental in the beating of Napoli in the quarter-finals of the Champions League, grabbing an impressive assist in each leg of that tie. He also scored twice when Milan beat Napoli 4-0 in Serie A ahead of that tie. There is no denying that Milan are less dangerous in attack without him, something to bear in mind for an AC Milan bet builder.
Overall, Milan’s form in Serie A has been wavering up until the victory over Lazio. They had drawn four of their last five league games before then and had slipped back to the same flat performances that we saw from them around the Christmas period. The Champions League has certainly been a safe haven for them.
AC Milan Team News
As has already been mentioned, Rafael Leao is a major doubt for AC Milan vs Inter and that is by far the biggest piece of team news for either side. He suffered a right abductor strain against Lazio after just 11 minutes.
The good news for Stefano Pioli and anyone hoping to see AC Milan win as part of their bet builder is that there are only two other certain absentees for the Rossoneri. Tommaso Pobega and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will both play no part in the game. Neither would have played a key role, although having the option of Ibrahimovic from the bench certainly would have been welcome.
Inter hitting their stride when it counts
It is fair to say that this game has come at the best possible time from an Inter perspective. After struggling for consistency basically all season long, Inter have now won their last five games across all competitions.
They players have started to show their best form which hasn’t been visible all season, such as Nicolo Barella, Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku. In the last five games, Martinez and Lukaku have grabbed eight goals between them, showing that Inter are an attacking force to be reckoned with once again.
There are still plenty of limitations in the squad and you’re never too far away from a bad Inter performance, but they are in better form out of the two sides.
Inter Milan Team News
Much to the relief of Simone Inzaghi, there is very little for him to worry about when it comes to the fitness of the squad. The major absentee is Milan Skriniar who recently had back surgery, but he has been out for a long time so it is not a fresh blow.
Danilo D’Ambrosio is a very useful squad player for Inter with a lot of experience and he should be back from injury here against Milan, whilst there is a chance that Robin Gosens recovers quicker than expected from a shoulder injury to make the bench.
AC Milan v Inter Milan Cheat Sheet
There could be a potential for plenty of fouls on Wednesday night, and look no further than the overloaded midfield of Inter to disrupt the flow of Milan’s attack. Calhanoglu and Barella look set to start in a five-man midfield for the ‘away’ side, and both rank in the top 5 in terms of fouls committed per 90 for Inter.
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AC Milan v Inter Milan
Inter’s Lautaro Martinez is an incredibly streaky player which means once he has scored in a couple of consecutive games, you should get behind him when he is involved in any Inter bet builder.
The Argentine striker has 23 goals in all competitions now and with 19 in Serie A, he is catching Victor Osimhen. In the last four Serie A games, Lautaro has scored five times and got two assists. Those figures, coupled with the fact Milan may be more conservative without Leao, is all the reason to back him in this AC Milan vs Inter bet builder.
Manchester City will also be keen to take this tie back to England with them in control, and that could mean a certain degree of risk management from Pep Guardiola. Experience from last year shows that City can’t afford to gamble offensively, even with the lead already in their favour. With only two conceded from five away Champions League games this season, and no side being able to put more than one past them, they will be confident of keeping the goal tally against them low.
Real Madrid’s defence has been inconsistent, with four clean sheets followed by nine goals conceded in the next four games, but remains solid. Éder Militão will be absent as he serves a suspension, but given his recent form, that could be a blessing in disguise for Real Madrid as it was his error that gifted Real Sociedad a goal last week.
Stefano Pioli has taken to using Ismael Bennacer in a different role in his AC Milan team in recent weeks. The Algerian is playing in the number 10 role rather than in a double pivot alongside Sandro Tonali.
Part of the reason for that is that Milan have got a combative player further up the pitch to try and stop opposition attacks sooner. That will be really important for Milan against this Inter team and having made 36 fouls in Serie A this season so far, expect Bennacer to be taking a couple for the team. Forwards tend to commit the most fouls as they drag players down in frustration and that will be part of Bennacer’s job on Wednesday night.
It is a source of immense joy for Inter fans that Romelu Lukaku has found some form, and there is still a chance that he stays at the club beyond this loan spell. He looks to be up to fitness and he netted an instinctive goal against AS Roma at the weekend.
He and Lautaro Martinez are expected to start against AC Milan on Wednesday and when those two are on song, they create so many shooting opportunities for one another. A confident Lukaku shoots a lot and there is no question that he will be looking to write his name all over this Champions League semi-final first leg.
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