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The Derby della Madonnina is always a game with a lot of expectations and tension between the two teams, but this time even more. Inter have their first official chance of the season to win the 2023-24 Serie A title if they win against AC Milan on Monday, while with a draw or defeat, they will have to wait at least until next weekend. It's a crucial game that adds even more interest to one of the most awaited games of the season. 

AC Milan are about to finish a disappointing season that will also mark the end of the Stefano Pioli era at the club. The coach and the club will part ways at the end of the current campaign, regardless of the results the rest of the way. However, preventing the city rivals from winning the title on Monday can mean something to the fans and the whole club while looking to start a poor streak against the black and blue side of the side. 

Inter won all five games against AC Milan in 2023, including the two UEFA Champions League semifinals last season, a setback for the whole AC Milan community. 

How to watch and odds

  • Date: Monday, April 22 | Time: 2:45 p.m. ET
  • Location: San Siro -- Milan, Italy
  • Live stream: Paramount+
  • Odds: AC Milan +270; Draw: +260; Inter -105

A lot of the criticism around the figure of Pioli has to do with the games against Inter and how the Rossoneri were never really able to find a way to create issues for their opponents. This is why Monday's clash is hugely important for both the fans and the coach, who wants to leave AC Milan with something positive after the club's owner Gerry Cardinale gave him more power in the decision-making process in the summer of 2023, a choice that also led to the exit of former club legend Paolo Maldini and sporting director Ricky Massara. 

AC Milan made some important transfer moves such as bringing in USMNT star Christian Pulisic, former Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Samuel Chukwueze from Villarreal but also sold Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali who joined Newcastle in the same summer transfer session. Despite the multiple signings, AC Milan were never in the race to win the Serie A title and were knocked out by Atalanta in the Coppa Italia quarterfinals, but most notably they were also eliminated in the group stages of the UEFA Champions League, before losing to AS Roma in the quarterfinals of the Europa League last week. 

Apart from the obvious meaning of this game, this Scudetto has something more that needs to be explained. By winning the title, Inter will have their 20th Scudetto in history, the so-called second star. In Italian soccer, teams that win at least ten Serie A titles can sew one star on their jerseys, and so on. Inter, from next season, can officially show their second star on the official jersey and logo, while AC Milan 'only' have 19 titles so far. The Nerazzurri would be only the second Italian team after Juventus (that won 36 Serie A titles) to reach 20. 

The rivalry between Inter and AC Milan heated up even more in the last three seasons since the Rossoneri were able to make an extraordinary comeback in 2021-22 that started after winning the derby and finally winning the league title on the last matchday of the season. The celebrations of the fans and the players were wild around the city after winning the title against the rivals, one season after Inter won the Scudetto under Antonio Conte. In particular, former AC Milan man Hakan Calhanoglu, who joined Inter as a free agent the summer before, was targeted by his former fans and teammates. 

The season 2022-23 immediately gave Calhanoglu, coach Inzaghi and Inter the chance to have their revenge as Inter were able to win five out five derbies in 2023, including the Supercoppa Italia final, two Champions League semifinals and the two Serie A derbies. The European semifinals were considered one of the most awaited events of European soccer, considering that they only met once before (season 2002-03, when AC Milan knocked out Inter) in the history of the competition. Despite winning the tie, Inter fans couldn't celebrate too much after a disappointing Serie A campaign and the Champions League final loss to Manchester City. This is why this year's celebrations mean so much for the whole club's environment as they can win the coveted 20th Serie A title in the most satisfying of ways -- in front of the fans that despise them the most.