by Zack Lambert
October 16th, 2020
AC Milan at Inter Milan
Spread: Inter (0, -0.5); O/U: 2.5, 3
Moneyline: AC +210, Inter +120, Draw +255
Time/Location: 12:00 ET, San Siro, Milan, Italy
AC Milan (WWWWW)
AC have clearly started the season very well and sit behind only Atalanta at the top of Serie A, both teams on nine points. While the team have yet to play top competition, they’ve looked very strong on the defensive side of the football. The team continues to get younger and younger but Simon Kjaer has put on a masterclass next to his youthful counterpart Matteo Gabbia and is a large reason the team have yet to concede this season.
The attack, while also extremely young, is led by the elder statesman of the club, Zlatan. The 39 year old Swede leads the club in rating, goals, and SPG and really doesn’t look like he’s slowing down. The wing back play from Theo Hernández and Davide Calabria has massively benefited the attacking players and gives the top of the formation the freedom to play creatively and in ways they’re comfortable.
This isn’t a season where AC will challenge for the title. The start is a very good one and the future might be the brightest of nearly any team in the world, but there’s at least another season before they’re really contenders. The experience of Juventus and Inter, the attack of Atalanta, the composition of Napoli, and so many other factors will make AC struggle this season. They’re a very good team, but this isn’t quite the year.
Inter probably ought to be carrying nine points of nine early in the Serie A season but a wild, flaring event with Lazio finished in a draw. The attack of Inter has been nearly impossible to stifle. The pandemic drained funds from the top clubs which means that Lautaro is still gracing the pitch and that’s a big deal for the title contenders. Lautaro and Lukaku are already on three goals apiece while the Achraf Hakimi stock seems to be splitting already as the Moroccan is on a goal and two assists already.
What has me worried with Inter so far is their defending. With their full squad they’ve given up three goals to Fiorentina and two to Benevento, both in wins. They can’t be nearly this careless if they plan to challenge Juventus this season. Samir Handanović has not been great in goal and Milan Škriniar cannot find his top form so I worry for the team.
To make matters worse, though, Inter have a huge number of players out for the derby. Sánchez, Sensi, Nainggolan, Škriniar, Gagliardini, Radu, Ashley Young, and Bastoni are all out for this match and that’s really, really problematic. Inter will be dipping deep into their already thin reserves to make sure they’re fielding the best team and it’s not going to be an easy match.
Analysis and Pick
The absences on the side of Inter make this a much more competitive match than it might be otherwise. The ability of AC’s attack is good enough to really put pressure on Inter’s defense, but even with the losses Inter will be able to keep up the scoring. This is still going to be a very competitive match but the unfortunate timing of illness and injury will level the playing field. The Milan Derby will finish in a draw.