AC Milan and Inter Milan lock horns in yet another edition of the historic Derby della Madonnina at the San Siro this weekend. The Milan derby is one of the biggest fixtures in Italian football and for good reason. The two Italian giants have always had excellent players in their ranks and this fixture has given rise to heated exchanges in the past.
AC Milan have slipped behind Inter Milan in the Serie A title race and will be desperate for a victory in this fixture. Only one point separates the Rossoneri from the Nerazzurri at the moment and with the Serie A title race heating up, neither team will want to concede ground this weekend.
AC Milan have experienced a recent slump and have a few defensive issues to solve going into this fixture. Inter Milan, on the other hand, have been clinical under Antonio Conte and their exemplary form holds them in good stead ahead of this fixture.
The previous meeting between the two teams in the Coppa Italia last month ended in a hard-fought 2-1 victory for Inter Milan. Both teams have excellent players in their ranks and this contest is likely to be decided by a series of intriguing battles on the pitch.
#5 Hakan Calhanoglu vs Marcelo Brozovic
Hakan Calhanoglu has been one of AC Milan's most effective players so far this season. The Rossoneri maestro has already bagged eight assists in the Serie A this season and has been at his influential best over the past few months.
With Calhanoglu in the form of his life, Inter Milan's robust midfield will have to put in a few additional shifts to curb the Turkish midfielder's creative instincts. Marcelo Brozovic is the Nerazzurri's primary defensive midfielder and will have plenty of work to do in this fixture.
Brozovic has come into his own for Inter Milan after a slow start to the season and has been an understated enforcer of their resurgence under Antonio Conte. The Croatian veteran has plenty of experience in the Serie A and will have to be at his best against AC Milan's Hakan Calhanoglu this weekend.
#4 Franck Kessie vs Nicolo Barella
AC Milan and Inter Milan have both been resurgent forces in the Serie A this season and their midfield prodigies have blossomed as a result. Franck Kessie is one of AC Milan's most important players and has perfected his box-to-box role with the Rossoneri.
Inter Milan also have a trick up their sleeves in Nicolo Barella and have relied on their young Italian prodigy to pull the strings in the middle of the pitch. Antonio Conte's outfit has grown into an attacking juggernaut in recent weeks and Nicolo Barella's performances have made the Nerazzurri a force to reckon with.
The Milan derby is often characterised by understated midfield battles and Kessie's tussle with the impressive Nicolo Barella is likely to be a highlight of this match.