Milan derby: Contenders or Pretenders?

AC Milan’s title aspirations will be put to the test on Sunday when they meet pre-season favorites and city rivals Inter Milan at the San Siro.

Three wins in four games have put unbeaten Inter at the top of Serie A, a position many people predict Jose Mourinho’s side will occupy for the duration of the championship.

Milan, whose main aim this year is the Scudetto after failing to qualify for the Champions League, have endured a difficult start to the campaign.

The Rossoneri lost their opening two games but a convincing 4-1 victory over Lazio at the weekend and a 2-1 midweek triumph at Reggina has got them back on track.

“We suffered but we won and that is what we need at this time,” said AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti, whose team are four points behind Inter.

“We needed a victory to climb up in the standings and things have gone our way.

“With regards to the game against Inter, we have played many in the past and on many occasions we have come out with a smile.

“I am not worried about the derby. In a week we have taken many steps forward.”

Inter go into the derby della madonnina on the back of a midweek triumph against Lecce, their third straight league victory.

“We want to prove our strength on Sunday,” said Argentina striker Julio Cruz, whose goal handed the Nerazzurri three points.

“The derby is a special game and we are really eager to be in good form.

“We are first in the standings and I believe it will be an exciting encounter.”