The Citizen (KZN)

Inter can wrap it up in a derby


Milan – Inter Milan are one step away from having the chance to win the Serie A title in the Milan derby as they welcome in-form Cagliari to the San Siro tomorrow.

Davide Frattesi’s last-gasp winner at Udinese on Monday kept Inter 14 points ahead of closest challenger­s AC Milan and in with a chance of winning the Scudetto with a record-equalling five matches to spare.

Inter will guarantee themselves a shot at the title against Milan as long as they beat Cagliari, regardless of how their local rivals – who have won their last five league fixtures – do at Sassuolo.

Simone Inzaghi’s side should do it as they have only dropped points once since the turn of the year and last lost a league fixture in late September.

Inter also have the chance to break several league records, with the all-time points tally and wins, as well as best defence in a 20-team season, all up for grabs.

Both Inter and Milan are locked on 19 league crowns so to reach 20 first by winning a sixth straight derby would be a dream come true for “Nerazzurri” fans.

“We need eight points to be mathematic­ally certain and we’re playing clubs fighting against relegation or for the top spots,” said Inzaghi (above) after coming from behind to win at Udinese.

“We can’t let our concentrat­ion slip.”

The champions-elect haven’t been on their best form since being knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid last month and shouldn’t expect an easy ride against Cagliari, especially with top scorer Lautaro Martinez suspended.

Claudio Ranieri’s team have pulled four points away from the relegation zone after losing just once in their last seven matches.

In that run Cagliari have held Napoli and beaten Champions League chasers Atalanta, and they will need that spirit if they are to avoid the drop with a hellish run-in, which also features matches with Juventus and Milan.

Juve will be aiming to further consolidat­e their place in Italy’s top-four with a local derby of their own at Torino, as the battle for European football hots up.

After two consecutiv­e wins in the league and cup Massimilia­no Allegri’s third-placed side are trying to hold off Bologna and Roma, in fifth, who both host Juve between now and the end of the season.

Bologna are just four points behind Juve. –

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