February 24, 2024

It has been 13 years since a team from Italy’s financial and commercial hub has reached the Champions League final – but that is about to change.

Cross-city rivals AC Milan and Inter Milan, who, between them, have been crowned European champions 10 times, will face off on Wednesday in the first of two semifinals for European football’s top club competition.

 

The arch-rivals knocked out Napoli and Benfica in the quarter-finals, respectively, to set the highly anticipated derby at San Siro. Inter Milan currently sits in the fourth place of the Italian league, with 63 points, two ahead of fifth-placed AC Milan.

 

It will be the first time the Milan giants have played each other in the Champions League after 2005’s so-called “derby of shame”, a quarterfinal won by Milan whose second leg was abandoned after livid Inter fans launched a barrage of flares onto the San Siro pitch with their team way behind in the tie.

 

AC Milan team news

AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli said on Tuesday he would make a late call on Rafael Leao’s participation in Wednesday’s clash after the Portuguese winger suffered a muscle injury.

 

Leao has been one of Milan’s most influential players this season with 13 goals and 10 assists in all competitions, but he lasted only 12 minutes of Saturday’s 2-0 win over Lazio before being taken off.

 

Pioli told reporters Leao would either start the game or not play at all, adding that Belgian winger Alexis Saelemaekers was a potential replacement for Wednesday’s match at the San Siro.

 

AC Milan, who were dethroned as Serie A champions last week by Napoli, have had a rough run in the league with only three wins in their last 10 games.

 

AC Milan, who were dethroned as Serie A champions last week by Napoli, have had a rough run in the league with only three wins in their last 10 games.

 

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