Milan derby combined XI: Could AC and Inter merge to make top team?
Holly Thackeray | 20 November 2016
Milan derby combined XI: Could AC and Inter merge?
As Milan clubs AC and Inter prepare to contest the first Derby della Madonnina of the season, here at Coral we’ve come up with a Milan derby combined XI featuring the best from both present Lombardy-based squads.
There are Milan derby odds of 11/5 for a draw to play out on Sunday evening, between the stadium-sharing clubs that have one of the most unique rivalries in world football. Nobody could doubt the ferocity with which the San Siro sides compete, yet many a player has crossed the divide.
As two of Italy’s most decorated teams, both clubs’ recent descent into mediocrity and ownership instability over the past few campaigns has troubled Serie A, so much so that super agent Mino Raiola once weighed in on their troubles, putting forward an audacious idea.
Raiola stated: “Milan and Inter must unite. They used to be the richest clubs in the world but they never became clubs who could develop further. The Milanese teams are not going to go anywhere by themselves.
“The fans will either continue to watch two half teams or only one which could really challenge. If these two clubs merged, they would also combine their turnovers…and they could create a brand which could only grow.”
Of course, Raiola’s almost Utopian vision is unlikely to happen anytime in the near future, but the upcoming Milan derby got Coral writers thinking whether an AC and Inter merger at the moment could compete again with Europe’s elite? You decide, here are our picks for a current combined XI…
Formation: 4-4-2 diamond
Goalkeeper: Gianluigi Donnarumma (AC Milan)
Samir Handanovic is no slouch in net for the Nerazzurri, but for pure potential man of the moment and 17-year-old talent Donnarumma gets our nod for number one. The AC academy product is the youngest goalkeeper to ever represent Italy’s senior side and is widely regarded as the future of the Azzurri.
With the often thankless task of protecting the Rossoneri’s posts, he has been a hero on countless occasions this season with five clean sheets in 12 Serie A games, not least when brilliantly denying Juventus. Donnarumma is now 18/5 to help AC to win to nil.
Take a peek at Donnarumma’s prowess between the posts:
Right back: Ignazio Abate (AC Milan)
For AC academy graduate Abate, success with the Rossoneri has been a long time coming after years of loans, but the rampant right back, renowned for his pace, has justly cemented his first-team spot over recent seasons.
Centre back: Miranda (Inter Milan)
We’ll require a calming, commanding and more experienced presence next to our next pick, which is why 32-year-old Brazil international and former Atletico Madrid man Miranda slots in ahead of highly-rated Jeison Murillo.
Centre back: Alessio Romagnoli (AC Milan)
Roma-reared young-gun Romagnoli is establishing himself now at centre half for the Rossoneri, featuring in 11 league games so far this season and, though he still has a few creases to iron out, could also be an AC and Italy fixture for years to come. Comparisons to Alessandro Nesta may be complimentary at this point, but the composure and class are all there in his locker.
Check out Romagnoli in action for AC:
Left back: Matteo De Sciglio (AC Milan)
If there’s a position AC now how to develop for it is defence, as some of their greatest homegrown heroes have manned the backline. If the Rossoneri can start winning big trophies again, left back pick De Sciglio could follow in some illustrious shoes. Still only 24, he can become what opposite number Davide Santon should have been.
Deep-lying midfielder: Manuel Locatelli (AC Milan)
The Rossoneri are certainly producing top teenage talent at the moment and Locatelli is the latest in a long line, but it doesn’t feel to soon to slot him into the spine here. Despite being a deep playmaker, defensive interceptor and conductor the young midfield maestro has also shown goal threat with two in nine and looks set to go on to great things eventually.
Right midfielder: Joao Mario (Inter Milan)
A manager’s dream, Portugal’s Mario is tactically and technically adept – and crucially able to operate in numerous positions across midfield. He’s been playing deep lately for Inter, but we’ll slot the European Championship winner in on the right. The Nerazzurri star has not had it easy since his summer switch, but he was brought in for big money for a reason.
Left midfielder: Marcelo Brozovic (Inter Milan)
Slightly to the left in our diamond will be Croatia and Inter schemer Brozovic, who can also put a shift in as well as propelling his side forwards. Two assists in five Serie A outings this term is a terrific return, so we’ve included the in-form passmaster to keep things ticking over.
Attacking midfielder: Antonio Candreva (Inter Milan)
Crafty Candreva can usually be found on the right wing but is equally dangerous when drifting centrally to playmaker behind the forwards and has been a top Serie A performer over the past few seasons.
Always with the potential to pull a spectacular striker from up his sleeve, the former Lazio attacker has assisted three in 12 league outings this season so makes the cut to pull the strings here for us.
Centre forward: Carlos Bacca (AC Milan)
It was so tough to decide between Colombia hitman Bacca (17/10 to be on target anytime) and the strike partner we’ve picked for him below, so we simply decided to have both.
The 30-year-old forward is a nippy net threat and has now slowed down since his Europa League-winning Sevilla days, scoring six in 12 so far for the Rossoneri this term.
Centre forward: Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)
Pace, power, potency and precision – the former Sampdoria forward has all the attributes to lead the line for a Champions League contender, and 21 goals this term suggest he is ready to make that step up.
Icardi (6/4 to score anytime) is our choice for Bacca’s foil and partner in crime, despite the Argentine dangerman’s reported trouble with the Nerazurri and its fans of late. 10 goals and three assists in 12 mean Icardi’s inclusion is a no-brainer.
See goal machine Icardi in action:
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