Serie A - Benitez: Milan derby massive for us

Sat, 13 Nov 15:33:00 2010

Internazionale coach Rafael Benitez has highlighted the massive importance of Sunday's city derby with Serie A leaders AC Milan while former Inter striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic expects to get booed.

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Champions Inter are fourth after 11 games, three points adrift of Milan, but the injury problems which have hampered the start to their campaign are now affecting their city rivals.

"This derby can change everything, it can make the difference," Benitez said.

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar has returned to the Inter squad as expected after injury but midfielder Esteban Cambiasso was surprisingly included having quickly shaken off a thigh problem.

Playmaker Wesley Sneijder is poised to start after missing the midweek draw at Lecce having fainted at half-time of last weekend's stalemate with Brescia.

"He is well. We have done some more checks and for us he doesn't have anaemia," Benitez said following earlier reports that Sneijder had the problem.

"It could have just been a virus."

Milan have been rocked by injuries to forwards Filippo Inzaghi and Alexandre Pato, meaning even more of the scoring burden will fall on Ibrahimovic.

The Swede was a hero at Inter, winning three league titles before leaving for an unhappy one season at Barcelona and then shocking Italy by joining Milan in August.

"I had been three years at Inter and five in Italy, I'd won a lot. When you feel you can't get any better and there is no longer the right motivation, you want something new," the former Juventus forward told Sky TV.

"Inter fans will surely boo me but I've always said whistles motivate me and give me adrenalin to do better," Ibrahimovic said, adding that he did not know if he would celebrate if he scored.

Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri will be in charge for his first derby, like Benitez.

"It will be difficult because it's a derby and we will find a very angry Inter. But at the moment we are top so we can go on the pitch with serenity," Allegri said, hinting that Ronaldinho would play after being on the bench for the last two wins.


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