It’s that time in the Serie A calendar and we are set for an absolute treat.

Sunday morning pits two of Italy’s biggest football clubs in an ultimate heavyweight battle to dish up an early season serving of delightful local Derby football.

Both sides enter the new season with new coaches and their fortunes have been quite stark to begin the new campaign.

Inter, under their new task-master Antonio Conte have won their first three Serie A games in style but were brought back to Earth with a shocking draw against Slavia Prague in midweek’s Champions League fixtures.

Milan have been a hard team to read and have bounced back with two tight victories since their opening day defeat to Udinese.

How will this game be decided? Let’s take a look.

Key matchup: Alessio Romagnoli vs Romelu Lukaku

It’s the Titanic battle which will almost decide this contest.

Milan’s captain has been a rock in defence and has been supremely underrated during his time at the Rossoneri arguably shaping as the best Italian defender in the league. Romagnoli has been the glue which has held their defence together since he arrived at the club and his form to begin the season has been just as impressive alongside Mateo Musacchio.

However, his biggest test is this week. He faces Romelu Lukaku who has had an inconsistent start to his time at the Nerrazzuri. After goals in his opening two games, Lukaku was far from his best in midweek and according to reports from Italy was in a post-game scuffle with teammate Marcelo Brozovic.

What better time to step up and be the hero than in a Milan Derby? However, the job is not going to be easy when he is coming up against the rock-solid Romagnoli.

Team News

Milan:

Milan will be forced into at least one change after Davide Calabria was sent-off in the final moments against Hellas Verona.

Andrea Conti is expected to replace him in right-back and is looking to get himself back into the Milan XI after a difficult two seasons due to injury and form.

Ismael Bennacer looks set to just miss out in favour of Lucas Biglia once again while Ante Rebic will have to wait another week for his first start.

Predicted XI (4-3-2-1)

Donnarumma

Conti Musacchio Romagnoli Rodriguez

Kessie Biglia Paqueta

Suso Calhanoglu

Piatek

Inter:

Inter are set to recall Diego Godin to the starting XI after he was benched in their midweek Champions League fixture against Slavia Prague.

Matteo Politano is expected to start alongside Lukaku after an impressive display against Udinese last week with Lautaro Martinez potentially set to return to the bench.

Nicolo Barella is also expected to be recalled to the starting XI in favour of Roberto Gagliardini after scoring the late equaliser on Wednesday.

Predicted XI: (3-5-2)

Handanovic

Godin De Vrij Skriniar

Candreva Barella Brozovic Sensi Asamoah

Politano Lukaku

It’s a big game for… Krzysztof Piątek

The Pole needs a big-game and needs the big stage to do so.

Piatek has recently hit a bit of a dry-spell after bursting onto the scene last season with both Genoa and Milan. However, he was able to score one from the spot last week against Hellas Verona which may be key for his confidence after being dropped two weeks prior against Brescia.

The 24-year-old will be facing a mammoth task in the Inter back three and carries Milan’s best hopes of pinching a win if he can find some of his best form once more.

Prediction:

Both sides have been extremely solid at the back in their opening three games, yet have not faced an attack with the weapons either-side possess.

Milan have numerous attackers off the bench who have yet to be unleashed in Giacomo Bonaventura, Rafael Leao and Rebic who may be able to help them find their missing link up top and may be key come the business end of this contest.

However, Inter have shown an ability not to be reliant on just their attackers to hit the score-sheet as Stefano Sensi and Barella have shown thus far.

Usually there are plenty of goals in these contests or the bare minimum and I can see it being the latter on Sunday.

Milan 1-1 Inter

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Nick D’Urbano
nicholas.durbano9@gmail.com