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Coppa Italia: Milan Derby to Decide Semis Spot


Coppa Italia: Milan Derby to Decide Semis Spot

Inter Milan vs AC Milan

AC Milan and Inter are currently busy battling it out at the top of Serie A. But the two Milan rivals will set that title chase aside as they meet for a derby in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals.

Both sides will head into this cup tie coming off disappointing results in the league. Milan were crushed 3-0 at home by Atalanta, while Inter failed to pull level with their rivals after a goalless draw against relegation strugglers Udinese.

But despite being two points behind in the league, the Coppa Italia 2021 betting odds will favour Inter as Milan once again have some key absentees to deal with.

Talking Points

Inter slumping to start to 2021

Inter have not had a promising start to 2021. Although they did beat Juventus convincingly in the Derby d’Italia, they have won just one other match in their last five (two draws, one defeat).

They also laboured in their cup tie against Fiorentina and needed a 119th-minute winner from Romelu Lukaku to go through.

Antonio Conte has quite a healthy squad to choose from, with no notable injury concerns at the moment. But for some reason, the consistency in their performances continues to evade them.

Conte fielded his full-strength starting XI in their goalless draw against Udinese over the weekend, so he might make a few changes for their midweek Milan derby.

The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Christian Eriksen, Ivan Perisic, and Roberto Gagliardini were all handed starts against Fiorentina and could once again be given a chance to create some Coppa Italia 2021 highlights.

Sanchez, though, has not made the type of impact he had while on loan at Inter last season. The Chilean has scored just 2 goals in 18 appearances this season, with none coming as a substitute.

Meanwhile, Lautaro Martinez is in the midst of another goal drought. Since scoring a hat-trick against Crotone, the Argentine striker has not scored in each of his last five appearances.

Milan still missing key players

AC Milan suffered a major setback as they went down 3-0 at home to Atalanta. After going unbeaten in their first 14 league matches, the leaders have now lost twice in their first five outings in 2021, both at home.

Left-back Theo Hernandez was able to play after his false positive COVID test, while Ante Rebic and Rade Krunic also returned after both testing positive. However, key playmaker Hakan Calhanoglu was out due to COVID and captain Alessio Romagnoli was suspended.

Milan felt Romagnoli’s and injured midfielder Ismael Bennacer’s absence in defence as they failed to cope with Atalanta’s prolific attack. Bennacer’s replacement, Sandro Tonali, had a disappointing outing while young defender Pierre Kalulu was subbed off.

While Romagnoli is set to come back, Bennacer is not yet quite ready to return. Milan will also be without another key part of their defence against Inter due to suspension. Keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma will serve a ban after getting sent off while sitting on the bench in the previous Coppa Italia round against Torino. As a result, Ciprian Tatarusanu will once again deputise in goal.

New signing Mario Mandzukic made a positive impact in his debut in the Atalanta loss and could feature once again if Stefano Pioli decides to rest Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Meanwhile, fellow newcomer Fiyako Tomori — an on-loan centre-back from Chelsea — will also be available.

History

Milan won their first derby meeting in the league this season 2-1 thanks to a Zlatan Ibrahimovic brace. That win snapped Inter’s streak of 4 consecutive wins and was also Milan’s first win over their fierce rivals in 4 years.

The two Milan clubs have only faced each other once in the Coppa Italia over the last few years. That came in 2017 as Milan got a narrow 1-0 victory thanks to an extra-time goal by Patrick Cutrone.

Betting Tip

1X2 Inter Milan @ 2.12

SBOTOP odds have Inter priced as 2.22 favourites over AC Milan, who are 3.00 to go through to the semis. Meanwhile, a draw is 3.35.

Things are shaping up quite well for Inter in this match. They have a fully healthy squad compared to Milan, who will once again be missing some key players.

Conte will be desperate to end his side’s disappointing run of late and knocking out their city rivals is the perfect game that can kick them on heading into the second half of their season.

Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.

 

 


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