AC Milan and Inter will come face to face at their shared home in the Derby della Madonnina on Wednesday.
Milan will close the gap on their fourth-placed city rivals to five points with a win, while a victory for Internazionale will keep them four points clear of Lazio in fifth place.
Here are four key battles that could decide the match at the San Siro.
3. Davide Calabria vs Ivan Perisic
Ivan Perisic is one of Inter’s biggest threats going forward, having scored nine goals and provided eight assists in 28 Serie A starts. The 29-year-old is likely to start on the left of a three-man attacking midfield, which means he will come up against Milan’s inexperienced Davide Calabria.
Calabria is primarily a forward thinking full back, and there are some question marks over his defending. Perisic, on the other hand, is better known for his attacking play rather than his tracking back and that should leave Calabria with some opportunities to venture forward.
Consequently, the youngster will need carefully judge when is best to support the attacks, and when to stay back.
2. Andre Silva vs Milan Skriniar
Gennaro Gattuso opted to start Andre Silva against Juventus at the weekend instead of Patrick Cutrone and the former Rossoneri defender could choose to do the same again on Wednesday.
Cutrone is Milan’s top scorer with 14 goals across all competitions this season, but Silva is more of a threat on the counter attack, and that could come in handy against a Nerazzurri back line lacking pace.
Silva could cause the Slovakian international some problems if his attacking partners Suso and Calhanoglu can help isolate Miranda. and thus prevent him from supporting his partner.
1. Mauro Icardi vs Leonardo Bonucci
In a similar battle but up the opposite end of the pitch, Mauro Icardi could get some joy out of veteran Leonardo Bonucci.
Bonucci’s strength allows him to outmuscle most of his opponents, while his good positional sense means he’s rarely caught out at the back.
Nevertheless, the 30-year-old isn’t the most mobile, and Icardi – who has scored 24 league goals so far this season – could exploit Bonucci’s weakness with runs in behind the back four.
The success of those runs will also depend on how Perisic and Candreva perform. The Croatian international is likely stay out wide which will drag Calabria out to the left. Candreva, on the other hand, prefers to drift infield to open up space in the midfield and stretch the backline.
If Icardi can then exploit the consequent gaps by making runs in behind, he could well add to his goals tally.