Battle Of The San Siro: Which Milan Team Will Be More Successful In 2016-17?

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The legendary Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan, better known as the San Siro, is one of the greatest cathedrals in all of world football. The ground has hosted FIFA World Cup matches, UEFA European finals and is home to two of the most storied teams in Italy’s Serie A.

AC Milan and Internazionale have both won multiple league titles in Italy and captured European glory in the Champions League, but have each struggled in recent times.

After finishing seventh and fourth in Serie A respectively last season, much improvement is expected from AC Milan and Inter Milan in 2016-17.

Here, we take a look at what has changed and who will be more successful in the upcoming campaign.

AC MILAN

With forwards Mario Balotelli and Stephan El Shaarawy leading the front line a few seasons ago, the future seemed ravishing for the Rossoneri.

But with both players moving on after dips in form and several key players ageing, Milan find themselves in a rebuilding phase that they are historically not accustomed to.

A third straight year of missing out on all European tournaments and two managerial changes in one season have led to this becoming a crucial campaign for new boss Vincenzo Montella.

After successful stints with Fiorentina and Sampdoria, Montella takes on the difficult task of bringing Milan back to the pinnacle of the Italian top flight.

The squad is not necessarily short of talent, with Japanese international Keisuke Honda, midfielder/captain Riccardo Montolivo leading the line and strong defensive work from centre-back Cristian Zapata.

The club also has a goalkeeping star in the making with 17-year old Gianluigi Donnarumma becoming a regular contributor.

The real key to this season’s outcome may lie in the future of striker Carlos Bacca. The Colombian international has been vocal about his desire to leave Milan, with rumours of a move to West Ham heavily reported this summer.

If the talented forward does leave, Milan would be hard-pressed to replace his 20 goals across all competitions from last season.

INTER MILAN

The Nerazzurri have never quite been the same since their famed treble-winning exploits with Jose Mourinho in 2010. Changes in managers, players and ownership have seen this decade been one full of twists and turns.

A fourth placed finish last campaign has perhaps shown that Inter are ready to ‘turn the corner’ towards a brighter few years, though much of that will hinge on keeping their captain in the squad.

Former Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini could see his Argentine forward and skipper Mauro Icardi leave this summer along with his 16 league goals from last season, as several teams are reportedly interested in his services.

The team does boasts quality in other departments, including star goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and tough-tackling midfielder Gary Medel.

However, for this team to make a run at either Juventus or Napoli, retaining talented players and adding depth must become the crucial priority.

PREDICTION

Reigning league champions Juventus remain the class of Serie A, even if Paul Pogba does end up leaving the team. With talented squads at both Napoli and Roma as well, it will be difficult for either Milan team to make up ground in the standings from last season.

Inter Milan will be more successful and will challenge for a Champions League place next year, but AC Milan’s 2016-17 will ultimately see another mid-table finish.

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