Inter Milan vs. AC Milan Serie A Odds, Picks, Predictions (2/5/23)
AC Milan are not out of the top four race when it comes to their place in the standings, far from it in fact- they’re tied on points in third place, although their goal differential has them sitting in fifth. But as far as recent results, the club is completely adrift, and is picking up extremely disappointing results almost every time out. Meanwhile, Inter are in decent form, but at only two points ahead of Milan and the rest of the pack, their position is far from solidified. With bragging rights and European qualification on the line, let’s take a look at the odds and make some picks for this enormous derby clash.
Inter Milan vs. AC Milan Odds
Inter are the “home” team in this one, but it’s not necessarily much of an advantage. That being said, they’re set at -110 to win. The defending champs are underdogs at +280, while a tie is set at +245. For a goalscoring line of 2.5, the over is -125, and the under is +100.
Inter Milan vs. AC Milan Prediction & Pick
Nestled within AC Milan’s horrible string of results, the two most recent of which are losses of 4-0 to Lazio and 5-2 to Sassuolo, is a 3-0 loss to none other than Inter in the Supercoppa. In that match, the Nerazzuri grabbed a pair of early goals, and never looked back- they buried a dagger third goal in the second half, although they hardly needed it. The Scudetto holders possessed 65% of the time, and snapped off 14 shots, but never presented a credible threat to score.
Sometimes, it’s a bit reductive to blame the goalkeeper for a stretch of high goal concession, but in this case, it might be warranted. There are surely problems up and down the lineup, but in relief of Mike Maignan, who would actively save wins and draws for the Rossoneri a year ago, Ciprian Tatarusanu has been absolutely dreadful. The French goalkeeping star should be back soon, but not soon enough; his veteran backup is going to have to step it up, or the losses will keep coming.
Picking a rivalry like this one is never a sure thing, but I think it’s pretty clear what has to be done. On the moneyline, Inter -110 is the right play, their opponents are completely aimless right now, they could fix multiple enormous problems and still lose pretty badly, so it’s hard to pick them to turn it all the way around and win. For the total, we’re looking at two of the top-scoring teams in Italy, the second and fourth highest scorers, to be exact, and two defenses that have been much closer to average. Paired with Milan’s current outrageous run of allowing goals (12 in their past 3 matches) and we have a pretty good case for over 2.5 goals at -125.
The Midfield Battle
Given the current state of the AC Milan defense, the best case is pretty clearly keeping the ball out of the defensive third altogether via a strong midfield performance. While they’ve been slumping along with the rest of the club as of late, the first-choice midfielders have been amongst the team’s best players. Sandro Tonali has taken a major leap, and alongside him in central, holding midfield, Ismael Bennacer has been perhaps the club’s best player this year. As far as midfielders with more of an attacking role, Brahim Diaz has been strong and Charles De Ketelaere has been inconsistent, but shown flashes of inspired play.
Inter also has two midfield stars who have stood above the rest. It’s hard to argue that Nicolò Barella has been the club’s best player, with 5 goals and 5 assists as well as a strong work rate up and down the whole pitch. Former Rossonero Hakan Calhanoglu has also been exceptional in his second year after switching colors but not cities. The last spot will likely belong to Henrikh Mkhitaryan, although Marcelo Brozovic could be coming back from injury, and Roberto Gagliardini has been getting time in his absence. It’s an intriguing battle in the middle of the pitch, last time out Inter got dominated in this area but still won the match decisively- we’ll see how it goes this time out.
AC Milan attack vs. Inter Defense
Part of the reason that AC Milan’s opponents have been able to run roughshod on them is how little of an attacking threat they’ve posed; turning that trend around would go a long way towards finding a win, or at least a strong draw to get them out of their current funk. Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leão have both been in strong if inconsistent form this season, although other than a Giroud goal against Sassuolo, relatively quiet of late. Ante Rebic and newcomer Divock Origi have both battled injuries, and been generally uninspiring on the pitch when they’ve been active. With Junior Messias and Alexis Saelemaekers both in the fold, there’s plenty of depth; it’s just a matter of figuring out how to pick the group that will finally put their best foot forward.
Inter run a back three, and then a pair of outside midfielders who are essentially fullbacks. The three in the middle will be a selection of Milan Skriniar, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni, and Stefan de Vrij, none of whom have been at their best this year but all of whom are surely good defenders. The odd man out will also be a strong consideration to pick up some bench minutes. As far as the wingbacks, we’ll almost certainly see Federico Dimarco, who is having an awesome season, and then one of Denzel Dumfries, who is very talented but has struggled this year, or the steady Matteo Darmian. André Onana has struggled to settle into his new home as well, but is a very good goalkeeper- he’ll come into form before long. They don’t get as much press as Inter’s midfield or forwards, but this is a solid group, and could be in line for a big day against a Milan attack that has been very mediocre in recent matches.