Inter eyeing Milan derby title triumph as Roma host capital clash

Inter are edging towards the Serie A title
Inter are edging towards the Serie A titleAFP
Inter Milan travel to Udinese on Monday still with a chance of winning the Serie A title in the upcoming Milan derby, while Roma host their own colourful local rivalry with Champions League football in the balance.

It is not unusual for derby talk to dominate local chatter in Milan in the run-up to the match but eyes have been on this fixture for weeks as Inter could humiliate their rivals.

A 14-point lead at the top of Serie A with eight matches left means it's only a matter of time before Inter beat second-placed AC Milan to a 20th league crown.

Regardless of what happens, 11 points will be enough for Inter but Simone Inzaghi's side could yet claim the Scudetto in front of massed ranks of Milan fans at the next derby on April 22.

Tickets for that match have, as the Gazzetta Dello Sport put it on Wednesday, been "pulverised" with the Inter contingent restricted to 7,500 of the more than 70,000 places at the San Siro.

Inter defender Alessandro Bastoni claimed that the "when or how doesn't really matter" but winning the title in the derby would be sweet revenge for being beaten to it by Milan on the final day of the season two years ago.

It is a serious possibility too, as should the two teams line up at the derby with 13-15 points separating them, Inter can win the title with five games to spare by beating Milan.

Serie A top five
Serie A top fiveFlashscore

Should that gap increase to between 16-18 points Inter would only need a draw against Milan, who host Lecce on Saturday.

And with both teams having on-paper easy fixtures over the next two weeks, Inter should have the chance to win the title with a sixth straight derby win, having smashed Milan 5-1 in September.

"It's too early to talk about Inter getting their second star (for 20 titles)," said Milan captain Davide Calabria last week.

"In any case there are matches between now and then and we want to win all of our games, so it's not going to happen."

Daniele De Rossi's Roma meanwhile are Lazio's nominal hosts at the Stadio Olimpico, hoping to win their first derby in over two years after failing to beat their fellow capital club under Jose Mourinho.

Dropping points at Lecce on Easter Monday left Roma, in fifth, five points behind fourth-placed Bologna who currently sit in Serie A's final Champions League place.

Fifth should be enough for a place in next season's revamped version of Europe's top club competition given Italian teams' performances on the continent but Atalanta are lurking, two points back in sixth.

Serie A fixtures
Serie A fixturesFlashscore

Atalanta also have a game in hand with Fiorentina who travel to Turin hoping to further damage their biggest rivals Juventus' difficult season.

Boosted by Tuesday's 2-0 Italian Cup win over Lazio, Juve are third after picking up just seven points from their last nine league matches and need to turn their fortunes around with nine points separating Massimiliano Allegri's team from Atalanta.

Player to watch: Paulo Dybala (Roma)

Roma's talisman will start against Lazio after coming on as a substitute during Monday's goalless draw at Lecce, which his team could have easily lost, following a thigh injury.

The Argentina attacker missed his country's friendly wins over El Salvador and Costa Rica but will be key, alongside returning captain Lorenzo Pellegrini, to Roma's hopes against Lazio.

Dybala has scored 10 times and set up another since the turn of the year and has flourished under De Rossi as Roma search for a first Champions League qualification since 2018.

Key stats

11 - The number of points Inter need to secure the title

5 - Inter won all five Milan derbies in 2023

Follow all Serie A fixtures here with Flashscore.

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