MILAN (Sporting Alert) — After shocking Barcelona in the Champions League in midweek, AC Milan enter Sunday’s Milan derby with Inter Milan favourites.
Former Manchester City and Inter Milan forward Mario Balotelli returns to the starting lineup for the Derby della Madonnina, after missing the Champions League game because of cup-tie and has been backed to score against his former club.
The Italian move from the EPL in January cause a huge controversy between the two rival Serie A sides and all eyes will be on this situation come Sunday.
At the same time, after struggling to score for Manchester City this term, Balotelli hit the ground running since he moved back to Italy – scoring four goals in three games to lift the spirit at AC Milan, following the club’s slow start.
Kevin-Prince Boateng, who netted the opener against Barcelona and Stephan El Shaarawy will partner Balotelli in the AC Milan attack, while Sulley Muntari, who netted the second in the 2-0 win starts tonight after being a sub in midweek.
Manager Massimiliano Allegri, although delighted with his team’s performance in the win over Barca, has warned his players they must bring the same kind of intensity at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza.
AC Milan are 14 points behind Juventus in the Serie A standings.
Meanwhile, Inter are fifth in the league table and will be hoping for a win to move closer into the champions League slot. The Nerazzurri coach Andrea Stramaccioni is optimistic his side still hold the advantage going into the game, despite their opponents’ recent impressive win over “the best team in the world.”
Ricardo Alvarez, a surprised pick, Rodrigo Palacio and Antonio Cassano are all amongst the starters today, while with Andrea Ranocchia and Cristian Chivu both struggling with injuries, it was believed that veteran Esteban Cambiasso would step in to play at one of centre-back positions.
Cambiasso, however, starts in midfield and Ranocchia starts with Juan, with Chivu on the bench.
Inter Milan: Handanovic; Zanetti, Juan Jesus, Ranocchia, Nagatomo, Gargano,Cambiasso, Alvarez; Guarin, Cassano, Palacio.
Subs: Belec, Carrizo, Mbaye, Jonathan, Chivu, Stankovic, Kovacic, Schelotto, Pasa, Benassi, Kuzmanovic, Rocchi.
AC Milan: Abbiati; Abate, Zapata, Mexes, De Sciglio, Muntari, Montolivo, Nocerino, Boateng, Balotelli, El Shaarawy.
Subs: Gabriel, Amelia, Salamon, Zaccardo, Yepes, Ambrosini, Antonini,Bojan, Niang Traoré, Pazzini.
Referee: Paolo Silvio Mazzoleni (Bergamo).