Inter vs AC Milan – Analysis, Prediction, Team News
Tuesday 16th May 2023
As part of our Champions League predictions, we examine the second leg of Inter’s semi-final clash with AC Milan. Inter hold a 2-0 lead going into the second leg – with no home advantage, can Milan play their way back in? Read on with our Inter vs AC Milan prediction.
Inter vs AC Milan Preview
Last week’s first leg could not have gone more smoothly for Inter. As the designated away side (though both teams play in the same stadium), AC had more of the crowd. However, Inter were in familiar surroundings and quickly took the fight out of AC with two quick-fire goals in the first eleven minutes. First, Dzeko beautifully finished on the volley from a Calhanoglu corner. Three minutes later, the AC defence was all at sea as a Dimarco pass played in Mkhitaryan to beat Maignan one-on-one.
AC huffed and puffed for the rest of the game, not really creating anything. Indeed, Inter had the chance to add to their lead and truly kill the tie. However, a penalty won by Martinez was overturned by VAR/the referee (wrongly, in our view). With an xG of 2.11 to 1.09, Inter deserve their lead heading into the second leg (though we acknowledge xG is not a perfect stat).
Inter are in excellent form in Serie A. Indeed, they have won their last five games in the league and seven games in a row in all competitions. At the weekend, they beat Sassuolo 4-2 in this stadium, including a brace from Lukaku. Inter have also won their previous three games against AC and kept a clean sheet in five of their last six games against AC in all competitions, so the signs are good.
On the other hand, AC are struggling somewhat. They have only won two of their last seven matches in Serie A, making it increasingly unlikely that they can qualify for next season’s Champions League through their league position. Hence, they likely have to perform a miracle here and then win the final to compete in the subsequent Champions League campaign. They lost 2-0 to struggling Spezia at the weekend and have only won one of their previous eight away games in all competitions. They have a mountain to climb here, though the likely return of star player Leao is a big boost.
This iteration of the Derby della Madonnina is to qualify for the biggest game in club football, so both teams will be giving everything they have.
Injuries and Suspensions
Might Not Play: Correa
Will Not Play: Dalbert, Skriniar
Might Not Play: Florenzi, Krunic, Messias, Leao
Will Not Play: Bennacer, Ibrahimovic
Inter vs AC Milan Lineups (Predicted)
Inter Milan (3-5-2): Onana; Bastoni, Acerbi, Darmian; Dimarco, Calhanoglu, Barella, Mkhitaryan, Dumfries; Dzeko, Martinez
AC Milan (4-2-3-1 / 4-3-3): Maignan; Hernandez, Kjaer, Tomori, Calabria; Krunic, Tonali; Leao, Diaz, Saelemaekers; Giroud
Inter vs AC Milan Analysis
Inter Have A Commanding Lead And Must Perform Similarly To Last Week
Inter’s win in the first leg has put them in an excellent position. Therefore, we expect them to do similar to what they did in the first leg. AC had most of the ball, and Inter were highly effective on the counter-attack. Inter can play this way again, secure in the knowledge that AC have a two-goal deficit to reduce and must take risks. Inter know they are massive favourites to qualify for the final and can sit back and choose their moments to attack.
Inter will use Calhanoglu, Barella and Mkhitaryan in midfield, similarly to the first leg – they will all press and try to trouble the AC backline and midfield and be a constant nuisance. All three are tidy on the ball and capable of joining the attack – being mindful that they don’t need to win. As ever, the centre-backs will be warriors, getting blocks in and headers away when necessary. The wing-backs will get up and down the pitch; Dimarco especially was impressive in the first game. On the other side, though, Dumfries must remember that AC’s best player, Leao, will likely be back on the AC left.
In attacking areas, Dzeko and Martinez showed their ability to link play, combine and hold the ball up constantly. They’re a serious threat in behind, and Dzeko is also dangerous in the air and from corners (as he demonstrated in the first leg). Brozovic, Correa and Lukaku, amongst others, are possible replacements. We see the former coming on later to take the sting out of the game, as in the first leg.
AC Have So Much Work To Do
We cannot be clearer: AC Milan have a massive task. With Leao likely ready to play again, their chances are definitely increased – he was a substantial loss in the first leg, especially as his absence freed up the Inter right-hand side to be more dangerous. Therefore, with the Portuguese starlet returning to use his pace and dribbling, AC can create something from nothing and are more likely to make the unthinkable happen. They’ll probably want less possession than in the first leg to activate their counter-attack more.
AC have other issues, though – Bennacer was injured in the first leg and is now out for the season. Hence, Diaz will likely be the link player in midfield, while Salemaekers will come in on the right. Diaz must be highly creative, looking to drive through the Inter midfield and link up with and feed Leao on the left. Giroud, too, will be vital – as with Dzeko, he is a tall, imposing man and good with his feet and in the air and from set pieces. AC need him to play well and allow Leao to play off of him. The full-backs must also attack and supplement their wingers.
Defensively, AC must be better than in the first leg. Their defending of set pieces was poor, and how their defence parted to allow Mkhitaryan to score the first goal was unforgivable. Tomori and Kjaer must be more solid, with the former using his pace and aggressive tackling to try to upset Martinez. They will also have to watch for the Inter midfield three’s forward runs – all three are dynamic and will keep them guessing. Maignan will also be crucial in goal. Messias could come off the bench if fit, as could Pobega and Origi – the latter looked quite good when introduced in the first leg.
AC are massive underdogs here. They are the designated ‘away team’ – though with both sides sharing a stadium, that really means using the away dressing room and – more importantly – Inter fans being the majority rather than in the first leg. We predicted 1-1 in the first game while acknowledging that Inter were the better team on paper and that AC might be missing Leao. The Portuguese winger was absent, forcing AC into playing more of a patient, probing game, where they are less effective.
Hence, Leao likely being back gives Inter more to consider, especially on transitions. However, the Nerazzurri are under less pressure with the two goals to their name. The onus is on the Rossoneri to attack them and make the play. Far too often for AC’s good, Inter will find likely countering opportunities to devastating effect. We are predicting an identical scoreline to the first leg, with the caveat that AC might get on the scoresheet with Leao’s threat.
Inter 2-0 AC Milan
Inter vs AC Milan Betting Tip – Inter Odds:
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