Football: Soccer-Master faces apprentice in pivotal Milan derby


ROME (Reuters) – Derby matches have formed the teaching careers of Simone Inzaghi and Stefano Pioli in the previous, however the stakes are increased than ever when the previous apprentice and grasp face off in an important Milan assembly on Sunday.

Four factors separate leaders Inter from third-placed AC Milan forward of their San Siro conflict, though the champions have a sport in hand in opposition to Bologna to come back.

It is a pivotal second in the Serie A season, contested by two coaches who know the importance of metropolis rivalries in addition to anybody.

In April 2016, then-Lazio coach Pioli suffered a 4-1 defeat by capital rivals AS Roma, a consequence that value the supervisor his job.

One man’s disaster was one other’s alternative as Inzaghi, on the time a youth coach with the Roman membership, was promoted to information the primary staff till the tip of the season in Pioli’s place.

Lazio’s failed transfer for Marcelo Bielsa in the end led to Inzaghi being put in as their everlasting coach, and his success over the subsequent 5 years led to his appointment at Inter in the low season.

Neither coach’s job is at stake on Sunday, however the Serie A title may effectively be, in keeping with former Milan and Inter striker Christian Vieri.

“If Inter win, Milan shall be out of the Scudetto race,” the previous Italy worldwide instructed Gazzetta dello Sport on Thursday.

“With a possible 10-point hole, how may you claw that again in opposition to these league leaders? Against a staff that’s displaying that it will also be ruthless when wanted?”


For Milan, the burden of current historical past have to be overcome too because it was virtually precisely a yr in the past that the Rossoneri’s Serie A title bid went off the rails.

A shock defeat by Spezia allowed Inter to overhaul them on Week 22 of the 2020-21 marketing campaign, the Nerazzurri moved 4 factors clear with a 3-0 Milan derby victory every week later they usually by no means seemed again.

Inter at the moment are in a stronger place than earlier than, however the scenario is eerily acquainted for Milan.

Before the worldwide break, they misplaced to Spezia once more, and a draw with Juventus left the sensation that something however a win over Inter may finish their involvement in the Scudetto race.

Second-placed Napoli are additionally firmly in the combo, and journey to relegation-battling Venezia on Sunday.

Milan could possibly be with out Zlatan Ibrahimovic, a person for the massive event, because the Swede recovers from an Achilles tendon downside, whereas Fikayo Tomori can be uncertain.

Inter comply with the derby with video games in opposition to Roma in the Italian Cup, Napoli in Serie A and Liverpool in the Champions League throughout a run of six matches in 22 days.

Juventus’s massive January signing Dusan Vlahovic is in line to make his debut in opposition to Hellas Verona, fourth-placed Atalanta host Cagliari and Roma tackle Genoa.

Fiorentina start life with out Serbian striker Vlahovic at dwelling to Lazio on Saturday, a key battle between sides locked on 36 factors in seventh and eighth locations.

(Reporting by Alasdair Mackenzie, modifying by Ed Osmond)

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