MILAN (AFP) – In the small break between the transfer window shutting and the Champions League group stage starting, Serie A frontloads its weekend schedule with last season’s top four in action today.
Champions AC Milan face Inter at the San Siro after Juventus visit Fiorentina in the day’s opening match. Napoli conclude the evening at Lazio.
After nine seasons of Juventus domination, the Milan rivalry became decisive again in the last two season, as each club won a title and finished runners-up.
Inter did a lot of their big business early in the transfer window.
Milan were still stuffing stars in their Prada bag right up to Thursday’s deadline, with Belgian midfielder Aster Vranckx joining from Wolfsburg and American full-back Sergino Dest coming in on loan from Barcelona.
Yet the biggest Serie A acquisition of the summer was AC Milan itself, bought on Wednesday by investment fund RedBird for a reported EUR1.2 billion (USD1.3 billion).
In Europe, Milan travel to Salzburg on Tuesday. Inter have 24 hours longer to prepare and are at home against Bayern Munich.
Inter will likely be without star signing Romelu Lukaku, who missed Tuesday’s win over Cremonese with a thigh injury.
Coach Simone Inzaghi made several unforced changes and indicated he will rotate again.
“We’re going to have back-to-back games for a while now and it’s not easy to recover all your energy,” he said.
But he promised he would not take the derby lightly.
“It’s an important game, both for us and our fans.”
Juventus will have an eye on Tuesday’s visit to Paris Saint-Germain.
In Serie A, Juve beat Spezia 2-0 on Wednesday with one of their marquee summer signings Arkadiusz Milik coming off the bench for the last five minutes and scoring.
“When everyone is fit we will be a good team,” the Pole said after his debut.
Leandro Paredes, who joined on loan from next week’s foe PSG earlier on Wednesday, could figure in Florence.