The Derby Della Madonnina is upon us. This season’s second edition would have seen two of Serie A’s top poachers go head to head. Krzystof Piatek in the red corner, Mauro Icardi in the Blue.
However, the Argentinean’s recent troubles with the Nerazzurri means he won’t feature. That leaves the stage for Piatek alone to thrive. Can he deliver for Gennaro Gattuso?
AC Milan are in tremendous form, unbeaten in 10 league matches. The last five games have seen them yield maximum points, as they climbed all the way to third – one point ahead of Inter in fourth. Piatek’s goals have proven to be vital to Milan’s climb up the table.
The Pole arrived from Genoa in January. He has netted eight goals in eight starts for Milan so far and currently sits in joint second for the top goalscorer award with Ronaldo tied on 19 – one behind Fabio Quagliarella.
Piatek has had a sudden rise to the top. This time last season he was toiling in obscurity in the Polish league. However, he has always shown a clinical edge, directly involved in 25 goals in 36 matches last term.
Still relatively unknown, Piatek was something of a gamble for Genoa who paid around €4 million for his services. He needed just 70 seconds to silence the doubters with four goals against Lecce in the Italian Cup. He followed that up with a dream Serie A debut and two goals against Sassulo.
Piatek is a natural goalscorer. His can score volleys, run in-behind or provide instinctive finishes in the penalty area. This understanding and technique make him a handful for every defender. On top of all of this, he possesses great aerial ability.
It only took Piatek 10 minutes to make the Milan faithful smile.
The Pole anticipated a long ball from Diego Laxalt, running into the area to drill his shot into the bottom right corner. That wasn’t enough though and he controlled the ball on his chest, cut inside Kalidou Koulibaly and curled a shot between the defender and Maksimovic to net a brace.
Many will be backing Piatek to end Inter’s recent dominance on Sunday. The Nerazzurri were victorious in the reverse fixture in October. Luciano Spalleti’s men have an edge of three victories over their fierce neighbours in 222 meetings.
AC Milan have not beaten Inter in the league since January 2016. Can Piatek be the one to make the difference?