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AC Milan vs Inter – Analysis, Prediction, Team News

Wednesday 10th May 2023
20:00 GMT
San Siro

As part of our Champions League predictions, we examine the first leg of AC Milan’s semi-final clash with Inter. This is a re-run of the 2003 semi-final – can Inter gain revenge on their Milanista rivals? Read on with our AC Milan vs Inter prediction.

AC Milan


1-1 (A)


1-0 (H)


0-0 (A)


1-0 (H)


4-0 (H)



3-3 (H)


2-0 (A)


0-0 (A)


1-0 (H)

Bayern Munich

2-0 (A)

AC Milan vs Inter Preview

Serie A sides and city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan meet in the San Siro for the first leg of their Champions League semi-final clash. AC Milan come into this game (in a stadium which both clubs share so that the second leg will be here, too) in decent form – they are undefeated in their previous six league games, though four of those were draws. However, they are well set up for this match, having beaten top-four rivals Lazio 2-0 in the San Siro at the weekend. First-half goals from Saelemaekers and Hernandez were enough to see off the Rome club in a tight game. Sitting in fifth, two points behind Inter – and with Juventus’s points deduction issues unknown – AC could still finish in the top four.

AC came through a quarter-final tie against newly-crowned Italian champions Napoli to make another all-Italian encounter possible. Bennacer scored the game’s only goal in the first leg after a mazy dribbling run by Diaz. In the second leg in Naples, Giroud missed an early penalty but scored not long after. At 2-0 down on aggregate, it looked lost for Napoli. However, Maignan saved a Kvaratskhelia penalty in the second half and then made a few further saves. Osimhen equalised on the night in stoppage time, but Napoli could not find the tie-levelling goal. AC Milan progressed to their first Champions League semi-final since they last won the competition in 2007.

Inter Milan come into the semi-final against their neighbours having won their previous four games in Serie A, scoring 14 goals and conceding only one. They’re in great form and still have the Coppa Italia final against Fiorentina later this month. Their game at the weekend was an impressive 2-0 win away at Roma, thanks to goals by Dimarco and Lukaku.

Inter played against Portuguese club Benfica in the quarter-final. After a somewhat surprising 2-0 victory in Lisbon, courtesy of goals from Barella and Lukaku, the second leg was a highly entertaining 3-3. Benfica showed spirit, but goals from Barella, Martinez and Correa did enough to ensure no comeback by the Portuguese side. This advancement sees Inter in their first semi-final since they won the competition in 2010. Winning the Coppa Italia and being crowned European champions would constitute a monumental season. However, they have to get past AC first.

Make no mistake; this is a massive match. The Derby della Madonnina is fiercely contested, and no love is lost between the two clubs. With AC not winning the tournament since 2007 and Inter since 2010 – and with seven and three titles, respectively, in the competition – bragging rights will be enormous.

Team News

Injuries and Suspensions

AC Milan:

Might Not Play: Leao

Will Not Play: Ibrahimovic


Might Not Play:

Will Not Play: Skriniar, Dalbert, Gosens

AC Milan vs Inter Lineups (Predicted)

AC Milan (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Maignan; Hernandez, Tomori, Kjaer, Calabria; Krunic, Tonali; Saelemaekers, Bennacer, Diaz; Giroud

Inter (3-5-2): Onana; Bastoni, Acerbi, Darmian; Dimarco, Calhanoglu, Brozovic, Barella, Dumfries; Dzeko, Martinez

AC Milan vs Inter Lineup
Inter vs AC Milan Lineup

AC Milan vs Inter Analysis

Possession and Passes Will Likely Be Fairly Even, and Both Sides Will Have Spells Of Dominance

This game is likely to be tight. In the Serie A fixtures between the sides this season, one game was even in possession, and Inter dominated the ball in the other. With AC being the nominal home side here (though both sides share the same stadium), control will likely be pretty even, with both sides having their spells on top. Indeed, Inter have averaged 57 per cent possession in Serie A this season, and AC 55 per cent. There is some disparity in passes completed, though, as Inter have about 2,000 more in an equal number of games. This stat suggests that Inter like to play the ball around more, whereas AC have generally been more direct with their passing.

Hence, the midfields will likely have their work cut out. Barella, Calhanoglu and Brozovic is an industrious, technical midfield for Inter – Brozovic sits at the base, much like he has with Croatia when partnered with Modric and Rakitic. He will try to build play from the back and snuff out attacks, and he is the key to Inter gaining some control in the match. Barella is a buzzy and talented midfielder with high energy and the ability to pass the ball and press to disrupt the opposition. He can also get into the box to good effect, as he has already displayed in the Champions League this season with his beautiful finish against Benfica. Calhanoglu is an elegant player who is dangerous on the break and has a wand of a left foot from shots and free kicks.

In the AC Midfield, Tonali and Krunic are very hard-working midfielders who can pass and press and stop the opposition from getting into a rhythm. At the same time, Bennacer plays a hybrid role between midfield and the number 10 position and is excellent in transition – these three players’ battle with the Inter midfield should be fascinating, as all six players are quality footballers and most are good at ‘getting stuck in’ to use a rudimentary phrase. They will all work hard to protect their defences and allow their attacks to receive the ball.

How Can AC Milan and Inter Milan Attack?

As stated, both sides tend to operate with three players in the middle of the park – though the systems are different as AC play 4-3-3 and Inter 3-5-2. These tactics mean Inter have more men down the middle in general terms but fewer players out wide. Of course, it is not this simple, as formations are fluid and players move about – however, generally speaking, there should be an opportunity for the AC full-backs and wide forwards to find space on the flanks. It will be vital that the Inter midfielders and wider centre-backs move wider to fill in on the channels when Dimarco and Dumfries go forward.

Leao came off injured at the weekend for AC, which is a massive blow as he is their star player. If he doesn’t make it, Saelemaekers will likely fill in at left wing. Whether it is he or Leao, they must be quick and direct and attack the spaces that Dumfries vacates. On the other side, Diaz is a tricky and excellent customer who can create coming in off the right flank. His dribbling and passing will be vital. The full-backs will also join the attack, as will Bennacer, who scored in the last round against Napoli. In the number nine position, Giroud must try to be a physical and experienced force against three strong centre-backs – Inter have a numerical advantage here, so one will likely be free and distribute the ball to initiate attacks from the back.

In Inter’s attack, we have mentioned Dumfries’s raids forward, as he is extremely capable of getting up the pitch to supplement the attack. Dimarco is no slouch either on the other side. Martinez and Dzeko will likely start up front (though Lukaku is also an option). They must try to get shots on goal – Dzeko is a massive threat in the air (like Giroud is for AC), and Martinez has pace, dribbling and shooting ability. As implied, Calhanoglu and Barella can also join the attack from their midfield positions and put pressure on the AC defence. Maignan has been in terrific form in the AC goal, so beating him might take something special.

Counter-Attacking And Further Personnel Options

Generally, both these sides will have spells where they are on top. However, the counter-attack is a real threat in this game, too, with the pacey and tricky options the teams have in the middle of the pitch and out wide. Hence, the team applying the pressure in attacking areas could be vulnerable to losing the ball and a quick transition. While we expect possession play, direct counters will play a large part too.

Both sides have positive options from the bench, with AC being able to bring on De Ketalaere and Origi (amongst others) and Correa and Mkhitaryan being options for Inter.

Our Prediction

With this being a Champions League semi-final and a city derby between two massive clubs, this tie (not just the first leg) is difficult to predict. There is much hostility between these clubs. Both will be desperate to make the final at the other’s expense, so there will be much pressure and caginess.

Both teams have been doing well in Serie A recently (Inter more so). This game could come down to which side performs better on the night or which coach does better with his in-game management. Stefano Pioli and Simone Inzaghi have demonstrated that they are astute managers at this level. Their influence from the sidelines could be as vital as what the players on the park do.

With the match being such a tight one to call, we will predict a draw. That could change if Leao is fit and ready to play, as we think he could be massively influential in that left-forward position. However, we are feeling a stalemate and taking it to the second leg. There are players in both teams who can score goals, and players in both sides who are adept at preventing goals from going in, so it is challenging to call.

A low-scoring draw seems likely, especially with Inter being undefeated in nine of their last ten games away against AC in all competitions. Home ‘advantage’ is unusual in this tie, with both sides’ home stadium being the San Siro, so we envisage no advantage for either side to take into the second leg.

AC Milan 1-1 Inter

AC Milan vs Inter Betting Tip – Draw Odds:


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