The Champions League Semi-Final first legs continue on Wednesday evening when Serie A rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan face each other in a decisive derby clash in an 8pm BST kick-off from the San Siro. One Italian team will be playing in the Final but which one will it be?
Below, we’ll analyse how both teams shape up along with my top Champions League betting tips ahead of this epic clash.
I Rossoneri Date with Destiny
AC Milan are one of the most successful teams in the history of European football having won the Champions League 7 times. The last of those victories came back in 2007 with a 2-1 win over Liverpool in the Final. That was perfect revenge for the disastrous loss on penalties I Rossoneri suffered against the Reds in the Final two years prior in Istanbul when they famously surrendered a 3-0 lead at half-time. Where is this year’s Final set to take place? Yes, as fate would have it, it’s Istanbul again.
Head coach Stefano Pioli will be keen to see his team reach the showpiece event next month. The club have perhaps been a bit of a surprise package this season. They find themselves in 5th place in Serie A thanks to an unbeaten run of 7 league games but they have only won 3 of their last 10 league games. They’ve developed the habit of doing just about enough in this competition to progress. The team finished 2nd in their group behind Chelsea and then edged past Tottenham and Napoli by one-goal margins in the following knockout rounds. Unsurprisingly, they are the least fancied side to win this competition out of the remaining teams at 17/2 with Bet365.
Home form has been crucial for the team this season though. AC Milan have won 4 of their 5 home matches in the Champions League this season and have kept clean sheets in 3 of those matches. The club are priced at 4/1 with BetVictor to keep a clean sheet and earn a win here. It’s been back-to-back 1-0 wins in their last two home legs in the Champions League knockout rounds and they are available at 15/2 with Bet365 to win this game by a 1-0 score.
Inter Peaking at the Right Time
I Nerazzurri are looking to get one over their city rivals to keep their hopes alive of a first Champions League trophy success since the 2010 victory under the management of Jose Mourinho. Back then, that third Champions League trophy for the club felt like it came out of the (black and) blue and there is a similar feeling here. Inter are valued as the 13/2 outsiders with Betfred to go all the way. So, it does kind of feel that progressing from here isn’t even half the battle with Real Madrid or Manchester City waiting in the Final.
Still, Inter are determined to keep fighting. Head coach Simone Inzaghi has witnessed his team hit a purple patch of form at exactly the right time. The club are 4th in Serie A, crucially one place and 2 points ahead of their rivals with 4 league games to play, with a run of 4 consecutive league wins being instrumental in that positioning. The fact that Inter have scored 14 goals in those 4 games shows how prolific they are in the final third right now. The team have scored at least 2 goals in their last 3 away matches and they are valued at 13/8 with Betfair to score over 1.5 goals in this leg.
Form has not only been solid recently in the league but it has also been very consistent throughout this whole competition. Inter did well to qualify from a group of death that also included Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and, of course, Viktoria Plzen. The team then dispensed of Portuguese clubs Porto and Benfica in the ensuing knockout rounds. Interestingly, Inter have only lost 1 of their 5 away games in the Champions League this season and they have kept clean sheets in their last two away matches in this competition.
There is a wealth of history in this fixture with the two clubs having played each other over 200 times across all competitions. AC Milan have won 63 of those games with Inter Milan taking victory in 61 encounters and 77 ending in a draw. Considering how many times these two clubs have met, there’s not been that many goals scored down the years with AC Milan bagging 259 goals compared to Inter Milan’s 277 goals.
In the Champions League, these two have crossed paths on two previous occasions. In 2002/03, it was another Semi-Final encounter that saw AC Milan sneak through on away goals after a 1-1 draw on aggregate. The two teams met again in the 2004/05 Quarter-Finals when it was AC Milan who progressed comfortably with a 5-0 aggregate win on their way to reaching that year’s Final.
AC Milan vs Inter Milan Betting Tips
It’s clear that this is all set to be a tightly-contested game. AC Milan versus Inter Milan is a match shrouded in so much history and emotion. Both teams are very closely matched right now too. I honestly wouldn’t be surprised to see this end in a 0-0 draw but I also think AC Milan have the ability to sneak a narrow 1-0 win so I’ll edge towards that outcome.
AC Milan to Win @ 21/10 with Bet365
Total Goals Scored Under 1.5 @ 2/1 with Bet365
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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