Inter Milan v AC Milan – San Siro Stadium at 19:45 GMT live at Premier Sports
Antonio Conte said he was “satisfied” with Christian Eriksen’s Serie A debut and Romelu Lukaku’s brace in a vital 2-0 victory over Udinese that keeps the Nerazzurri just three points off pace-setters Juventus in Serie A.
The Inter boss claimed he was “happy to have pushed so hard” for the arrival of Eriksen, a move that prompted a number of changes in the starting XI last time out with the Swede and Victor Moses getting their first league starts, plus Sebastiano Esposito coming in for suspended Lautaro Martinez.
Daniele Padelli replaced injured Samir Handanovic between the sticks and had to be alert during the opening exchanges as Udinese started brightly. But Lukaku toe-poked one finish between Bram Nuytinck’s legs, then converted a penalty earned by substitute Alexis Sanchez to secure top honours for Inter.
Conte added, ““It’s never easy with Udinese, they are a very physical and created a lot of problems for us at San Siro too. We tried to take the initiative, they focus on defending and the counter. It’s not the first time we have encountered that, as opponents clam up and try to break at pace.”
Handanovic has not lost hope of playing in the Milan derby on Sunday, as the Inter goalkeeper will try to train with a protective glove this week. Should the Slovenian be involved, the hosts look good value at 2.00 to overcome a -0.50 handicap against city rivals AC at the San Siro.
Milan lacked sharpness against Verona
Milan head coach Stefano Pioli said his side lacked sharpness in front of goal as the Rossoneri could only manage a 1-1 draw against Verona at San Siro last weekend. The stalemate was all the more frustrating considering Hellas also went down to 10 men with the dismissal of Sofyan Amrabat in the second half.
AC struggled without the experience of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Pioli hopes to have him back for Sunday night’s derby. Elsewhere, Daniel Maldini, son of Paolo, made his Milan debut with several minutes remaining, continuing the lineage of a Maldini in the Rossoneri shirt.
Whether Maldini will be involved this weekend remains to be seen but Milan have looked second-best when taking on Serie A’s elite this term. The Rossoneri were turned over 2-0 in the reverse fixture and have also returned pointless from games against the breakaway top five – Juventus, Lazio, Atalanta and Roma.
Asian Handicap Betting Recommendation: Inter Milan -0.50 at 2.000
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