The much-anticipated first leg of the semi-final clash in the Champions League is set to unfold between two mighty Italian football powerhouses – AC Milan vs Inter Milan – at the iconic San Siro Stadium, which is the home ground of both teams.
As the defending champions of Serie A, Milan's performance in the domestic season has been a rollercoaster ride. The recent decision to overturn Juventus' 15-point penalty, imposed earlier in the season, has pushed the Rossoneri down to the fourth position, securing the final Champions League spot. Notably, before they face Inter in the semi-finals, Milan is scheduled to play against Roma, who currently hold the fifth spot, and Lazio, who are in second place.
Inter Milan has also felt the brunt of the reverse of Juventus' 15-point penalty, as they have now slipped down to sixth place in Serie A and are trailing behind the top four by a mere two points. Furthermore, they have struggled to perform well in their home games in the 2022-23 season, winning only 17 out of their 31 league games and losing 11. In their last six league games, they have won only one and lost four.
With both teams being well acquainted with each other, we can expect a fierce and exciting contest. The top betting sites in India have fantastic Champions League odds with them.
While the highly anticipated first leg may still be a distance away, AC Milan currently finds itself in a favorable position with no major injury worries. However, it is unfortunate that midfielder Tommaso Pobega is expected to sit out the game due to a recent rib fracture.
Additionally, the experienced striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic's participation remains uncertain as he continues to grapple with persistent calf problems. Thankfully, there are no players facing suspensions or other unavailability issues.
Giroud is expected to start against Inter Milan.
Predicted Lineup: Maigan, Hernandez, Tomori, Kjaer, Calabria, Krunic, Tonali, Bennacer, Leao, Diaz, Giroud.
Inter Milan's crucial center-back, Milan Skriniar, is expected to sit out the upcoming game against AC Milan due to a recurring back issue caused by a lumbar vertebra fracture.
However, should Inter proceed beyond the semi-finals, there's a chance that Skriniar might be ready in time for the UCL championship match. Unfortunately, Alessandro Fontanarosa, another central defender, is also sidelined due to an undisclosed ailment.
Milan Skriniar is doubtful to play against AC Milan.
Predicted Lineup: Onana, Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni, Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco, Martinez, and Dzeko.
Aside from holding a favorable record in their past head-to-head matchups with local rivals Inter Milan, AC Milan's opponents have also outshone their competitors in the ongoing 2022-2023 season. Inter kicked off the year with a bang, securing a victory in the Supercoppa Italiana, and further impressing with a 1-0 win in Serie A.
However, Milan emerged triumphant in a gripping encounter with a 3-2 scoreline during the league's earlier meeting in September. It's worth noting that Rafael Leao, one of Europe's most promising young counterattacking prospects, is a part of AC Milan's team and holds a special affection for this competition.