International Champions Cup: New signings on show in Milan derby
Both AC Milan and San Siro ground-sharers Inter had disappointing 2014/15 term, ending up in Serie A’s mid-table. As a result, there will be no European football in the city this coming campaign, so the International Champions Cup in pre-season is when illustrious oppositions comes up against them.
The Rossoneri, 8/5 with Coral to beat their city rivals, tackle 13/10 chances the Nerazzurri in this competition next with a draw – the result in the last two competitive meetings between them – priced up at 9/4.
Roberto Mancini, in keeping with Italian football stereotypes, has largely made defensive signings to strengthen Inter at the back. There could thus be first tastes of the Milan derby for Colombia centre half Jeison Murillo, who caught the eye on international duty at the Copa America, Brazil counterpart Joao Miranda and Spanish full back Martin Montoya.
Shielding a new-look Nerazzurri rearguard is Geoffrey Kondogbia, so impressive for Monaco against Arsenal during last term’s Champions League knockout phase. Mancini is also raiding former club Manchester City for Montenegro forward Stevan Jovetic, with a reported two-year loan deal set to be tied up next week.
New Rossoneri head coach Sinisa Mihajlovic was once Inter assistant and finished his playing career with them, so he is likely to get a rough reception as he tasted derby day from the dugout for the first time.
AC Milan, meanwhile, have expensively remodelled midfield and attack through their coup captures of Italy box-to-box player Andrea Bertolacci, Carlos Bacca and Luiz Adriano. Such prized assets make a major statement about Rossoneri intentions to return to the big time, and this process starts here with new names needing to gel in pre-season.
This International Champions Cup clash also has the potential to pit two former Parma teammates against one another. Both Milan teams have profited from the financial misfortune that befell another Serie A mainstay who are now bankrupt.
Inter netted French attacker Jonathan Biabiany, who returns to the San Siro after four years away, while AC poached teenage talent Jose Mauri to boost their midfield.
Milan derbies tend to be tight and tense affairs, with none of the last six competitive encounters containing more than two goals. This makes the match total being under 1.5 a tasty 3/1 price here.