Answering the Key Questions Ahead of AC Milan vs. Inter Milan


 Derby clashes between AC Milan and Inter Milan have historically been enthralling affairs because of the sheer quality of the players on the pitch whenever the two teams have come together.

 However, in recent seasons—with both sides falling down the Serie A table—star power has been lacking.


Yet, in spite of the two teams’ decline in fortunes, the Derby della Madonnina remains compelling viewing. And this Sunday’s meeting provides greater intrigue than usual.


Both clubs are at a crossroads in terms of ownership; both have made significant changes to their coaching staff in recent months; and both—albeit for different reasons—consider victory this weekend as a vital next step in their 2016-17 campaigns.


Here, with the help of fans and writers, Bleacher Report answers some of the key questions surrounding the latest instalment of Milan and Inter’s rivalry.




Who is to Blame for Inter's Season so far?

Inter enter Sunday’s fixture in a state of disarray, having already seen off one coach after just 11 rounds of league fixtures.

Frank de Boer was appointed in August, succeeding Roberto Mancini in the hot seat, but was fired in November after a run of poor results. The Dutchman came with a big reputation after guiding Ajax to four successive Eredivisie titles during his time in charge of the Netherlands club, but he was unable to rejuvenate the Nerazzurri despite a number of exciting new additions.




Can Stefano Pioli Turn Inter's Season Around?

Regardless of who is to blame for Inter’s terrible start, it’s important that the club moves on from De Boer’s dismissal as quickly and efficiently as possible. Stefano Pioli was named the Dutchman’s successor on November 8, and with the derby being his first game in charge, he couldn’t have asked for a trickier start.


However, the new coach does come with a commendable background—as recently as the 2014-15 season he worked wonders to lead Lazioto third place in Serie A and the UEFA Champions League qualification stages. “Pioli ticks all the boxes for a club in Inter’s situation,” Hall said. “He is Italian, he knows what the club is about and he has appointed (former Inter player) Walter Samuel to his staff, which is a bright move.”


Inter’s new boss won’t be lacking in individual talent to work with. “JoaoMario and Banega have been exceptional in patches, while Miranda and Samir Handanovic have continued to save the team on numerous occasions. Icardi is a constant threat and if he gets more supply can be devastating,” Hall added. “I think if Pioli can get Ivan Perisic and Candreva firing the dynamic of the team will change.”


Thus, there are reasons for Inter fans to be optimistic about Pioli’s appointment. However, it is worth noting that an alarming 81 per cent of people responding to a Twitter poll conducted by Bleacher Report do not believe he is the coach to turn the club’s fortunes around.



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