AC Milan vs Inter Milan will face off in the highly anticipated first leg of their UEFA Champions League semi-final on Wednesday at the San Siro, the iconic stadium that both the rivals share.
When: Wednesday, May 10
Where: San Siro, Milan
Kickoff: 19:00 GMT
Italian giants AC Milan will welcome arch-rivals Inter Milan to San Siro on Wednesday night in what is a highly anticipated UEFA Champions League semi-final match-up.
The Serie A giants have a long and storied history in the competition and have won the trophy a combined ten times. The most recent of them came in 2010 when Jose Mourinho led the Nerazzurri to continental glory.
Milan, for their part, have won the competition seven times. But their last trophy came all the way back in 2007 when they defeated Liverpool in Athens. The current Rossoneri side is a pale shadow of the superteam from the early 2000s but will be keen to drive their position home this season.
Both teams are also embroiled in the fight to finish in the top four in Serie A this season. With their participation in next season's competition far from certain, it adds further spice to the semi-final tie.
For the first time since 2017, Serie A will have a representative in European football's biggest game this season. But with defending champions Real Madrid or Premier League holders Manchester City awaiting in Istanbul, the path is as difficult as it gets.
With no away goals to decide ties this year, Milan and Inter both can go all out in their own stadium to put on a show for the ages.
It is unlikely to be a friendly affair with no love lost between the two sides. Neither side was expected to make it this far in this year's competition and will aim to make the most of their fortunes.
This will be the first meeting between both teams in the Champions League since their 2004/05 quarter-final draw. The Rossoneri won the tie handily 5-0 on aggregate en route to the final which was played curiously at the Ataturk Stadium in Istanbul – the venue for this year's showpiece event. Stefano Pioli will hope that his side can repeat history and exorcise the ghosts of the 2005 final in Turkey.
Both teams have already faced each other thrice this season, with Inter holding the edge. However, this match is a whole different ball game, with the stakes higher than ever before. Milan will be eager to avenge their loss to Inter in the Supercoppa Italiana earlier this year, while Inter will be determined to prove their recent dominance over their rivals. In many ways, this is the biggest Derby della Madonnina in recent memory.
Neither side is expected to adopt a safety-first approach in the first leg and will be expected to have a go at each other from the kick-off whistle.
AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli said on Tuesday he would make a late call on Rafael Leao's participation in Wednesday's clash after the Portuguese winger suffered a muscle injury.
Leao has been one of Milan's most influential players this season with 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, but he lasted only 12 minutes of Saturday's 2-0 win over Lazio before being taken off.
Pioli told reporters Leao would either start the game or not play at all, adding that Belgian winger Alexis Saelemaekers was a potential replacement for Wednesday's match at the San Siro.
Full-back Robin Gosens is a doubt for Inter Milan after being sidelined lately with a dislocated shoulder. But the 28-year-old said on Instagram on Monday he was "back on track" and fit again "just in time for the big match on Wednesday."
Inter Milan have a good historical record in the Derby della Madonnina and have won 87 out of the 235 matches played between the two teams, as opposed to AC Milan's 79 victories.
AC Milan are unbeaten in their four matches against Inter Milan in European competitions and won the previous such tie between the two teams in 2003 on away goals after a 1-1 aggregate scoreline.
AC Milan and Inter Milan have already played out three matches in all competitions in the 2022-23 season, with Inter Milan winning the last two games.
After winning the first meeting between the two teams this season 3-2, AC Milan have suffered defeat and failed to score a single goal in their last two matches against Inter Milan.
AC Milan Probable Lineup (4-2-3-1): Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Kjaer, Hernandez; Krunic, Tonali; Messias, Bennacer, Saelemaekers; Giroud
Inter Milan Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Onana; Darmian, Acerbi, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Mkhitaryan, Dimarco; Martinez, Lukaku
Maignan; Calabria, Tomori, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Tonali, Mkhitaryan, Giroud, Martinez, Lukaku