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Sunday February 24 2013
Milan Derby loves an underdog

Milan go into the Derby della Madonnina as favourites, but Susy Campanale points out that’s not always a good thing.

Enthusiasm is overflowing in the Milan camp after six consecutive Serie A home victories and a 2-0 Champions League triumph over Barcelona. President Silvio Berlusconi even flew in on his helicopter to take the credit and will be in the stands this evening, a sure sign that the team is doing well. Berlusconi even claimed he called Mario Balotelli a ‘rotten apple’ because of a “strategy to keep the price down.” Even for a politician, that excuse was implausible. Still, they’re on such a high right now that they may as well let even blatant fibs slide.

However, the Derby is a strange beast and Inter may well relish their underdog status. The Nerazzurri have already shown this season that they enjoy upsetting the odds, as nobody expected them to end Juventus’ unbeaten Serie A run in Turin. Last term this fixture mathematically terminated Milan’s Scudetto hopes, as Inter emerged with a 4-2 victory. Historically the side that goes into the Milan Derby as the favourite tends to struggle, as the pride of the city is at stake and expectations weigh heavy on some shoulders. Let's not forget the infamous 2001 match when Milan won 6-0, as in the lead-up to that Inter were in much better shape.

Massimiliano Allegri is fresh from a tactical masterclass against Barcelona, but Inter are completely different. Where Barça kept possession and had only limited in-roads to goal, Andrea Stramaccioni’s side focus on the counter-attack and will invite pressure. Diego Milito’s injury is a huge blow, as he has scored four of Inter’s last six Serie A goals against Milan. On the other hand, his absence makes the team more unpredictable, with Rodrigo Palacio less of a classic centre-forward.

Speaking of unpredictable, all eyes will be on Mario Balotelli against his former teammates for the first time. The fans knew for years that he was a closet Milan supporter, but it’s still galling for them to see him represent the other side of San Siro with four goals in his first three games. The insults that will no doubt be hurled in his direction are on a par with those that Antonio Cassano received during his first Derby in the blue and black stripes. Giampaolo Pazzini is unlikely to be jeered by Interisti, as they still can’t believe their luck getting rid of him for Cassano and cash.

I was very pleased to see the Curva Nord mount a campaign urging Inter fans to keep their Balotelli insults on a ‘normal’ level. The ultras released a statement, posters and flyers in the stadium warning that any racist abuse will not be tolerated.

In fact, I think it’d be smart to set up an Ultras UN Council. The leaders want to be taken seriously and be a force for good, so give them responsibility and provide ‘sanctions’ if they step out of line. These groups are already very organised and release statements to the media, while some have been known to hold Press conferences. The fans are a key part of the Italian game and I maintain the way forward is to give the ‘good’ elements more responsibility to weed out the racists and hooligans. Having a council of their peers could well be a solution to keep everyone in check.

Hopefully we’ll see a great Derby della Madonnina where we can focus entirely on the football.

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Have your say...
Frankie, I always make good points. By selling club i mean a club that has their bet players taken from them and the player wants to leave for the better team. Ibra and silva were already highly regarded. I dnt think the amount they got was stupid money. As for vie ri? When was he ever good? Ibra wanted to go as we got demoted. Zidane was the highest transfer fee at the time. Was ibra and silva? No they won't and that was both of them put together. That is y Milan suck frankie
on the 1st March, 2013 at 7:05pm
You make some good points, way didn't you say this in the first place BOSS.
BOSS every club in the world is a selling club.Inter sold Eto cos they got a stupid amount of money for him as did Milan selling Irbra and Silva, which i feel Milan should of done more to keep hold of Silva just sends out the wrong message.
BOSSIE Juve have sold Zindane, Vieri and Irbra to name just a few.
on the 1st March, 2013 at 4:28am
Frank, ill feed u a fact that u can digest. AC Milan are fourth. Inter are fifth. AC Milan have won how many titles? Remind me frank. Then calculate juve's, get ur calculator out. Milan r a selling team. They suck. As for inter, mourinho donated them the cl. Aside from hat inter r a joke. Does that help u understand y the Milanese teams suck. One sells sneijder and eto, the other ibra and silva. I hope that helps u frankie
on the 28th February, 2013 at 7:00pm
@BOSS
Can you elaborate and present a case why milan and inter suck, use facts and not the first thing that comes into your head.
I'l get more sence from a baby then most of the rubbish you post on here.
on the 28th February, 2013 at 7:08am
frank shut up big baby. Milan and Inter suck. Juve went on a sabbatical in 2006. We come back, and Inter and Milan manage to lose Italy a fourth spot in the CL. Now step aside and let Juve show you hw is done.
on the 27th February, 2013 at 8:48pm
please stop talking about who has more champions league titles . it is the objective for every big club to win at least one title every season . so inter and milan can keep their CL titles for all anyone cares , as juventus will always have more trophies and will win one or more each year while inter and milan sorry milan try to win cl once every 10 years lolol !!!!!
on the 26th February, 2013 at 8:12pm
Said it like a B0SS LoL

Trolls be trolling & it takes one to know one...
on the 25th February, 2013 at 9:17am
This game proves that Inter are a "LUCKY" team.
on the 25th February, 2013 at 9:09am
FOOTBALL ITALIA why do you post BOSS messages, everyone is entitled to there views but this bloke has no interest in italian football and is just trying to upset people.
If this is what BOSS thinks of italian football, whats his views outside football, BOSS comes arcoss as a bit of a bigot and maybe rascit.
BOSS as i told you last year i feel the need to educate you about football.
on the 25th February, 2013 at 3:08am
Boss is the biggest troll on here
on the 24th February, 2013 at 10:49pm
At least Inter had two shots on goal...
on the 24th February, 2013 at 9:59pm
BOSS....The undoubted troll of this website. literally not one constructive post. no life...keep trolling
on the 24th February, 2013 at 9:46pm
Ah yes, the battle of the has beens, i have no favourite, they both suck
on the 24th February, 2013 at 8:20pm
Siamo Inter Cassano and Guarin will make the difference.
on the 24th February, 2013 at 6:57pm
Milan playing with confidence + Inter playing on Thursday - Diego Milito = AC Milan victory
on the 24th February, 2013 at 6:56pm
I want 2day's derby 2 be exciting. I'm tipping my acmilan 2 win it.
on the 24th February, 2013 at 5:35pm
Milan is pose for victory but,a in football any thing is possible for either side.
on the 24th February, 2013 at 5:14pm
Speaking from quite few years of experience of these two clubs i would say " tonight Inter will play comfortbly.
on the 24th February, 2013 at 5:09pm
@anonymous " Its funny how these AC fans think their club is 'back' after beating an average under par Barca, fact is AC are a joke just like Berlasconi, forza Juve"

Only a real coward hides behind an anonymous signature. Are you really that dumb t call barca below average team. Barca are always barca. Show some respect.
on the 24th February, 2013 at 3:34pm
I know its not gonna be easy tonight, coz sometime favourites don't always win, when its comes to milan-Inter derby the game is been decide after 90 min. Though if you ask me who is the favourite, I tip MIGHTY MILAN......... Fooorrrrzzzaaa milan
on the 24th February, 2013 at 2:22pm
Shut up Susy
on the 24th February, 2013 at 2:09pm
Its funny how these AC fans think their club is 'back' after beating an average under par Barca, fact is AC are a joke just like Berlasconi, forza Juve!
on the 24th February, 2013 at 1:35pm
I can c frm susy analysis dt d odds might favor inter bt I tel ​┏̲U̶̲̅┓̲ dat we will b more dan carefull2nite n ensure we gt d max 3point. Forza milan
on the 24th February, 2013 at 1:06pm
Martin, you should really be the last person talking about winning in the court room. And you still have less champions leagues... even after all of those scudetti. poor thing. Forza Inter sempre
on the 24th February, 2013 at 1:01pm
Forza Milan tonight, a deserving big club with history coming from the pitch not a court room.....
We are back to the good old days :)
on the 24th February, 2013 at 11:58am
hahaha.. nice try trying to jinxing us Susy, it might work though. :D

Forza Class A Inter! ;)
on the 24th February, 2013 at 11:03am
i hope to c anọda tactically effective display from allegri. Forza milan!
on the 24th February, 2013 at 10:22am
Why can Inter fans not believe "their luck getting rid of [Pazzini] for Cassano and cash"? Pazzini has scored more goals this season than Cassano, works harder, is younger and leads the line better. I really wish people would stop having a go at Pazzini. His second goal against Bologna last month showed his class. It's very difficult to predict tonight's game. I'm keeping my mouth shut until after the game but hopefully Pazzini can show all those critics! Forza MIlan
on the 24th February, 2013 at 10:11am
Forza Inter!!!
on the 24th February, 2013 at 6:05am
I just wanted to say a BIG LAN for Milan.
Only a few will understand what that means.;)

Forza Inter!
on the 24th February, 2013 at 2:32am

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