Inter have substantially underachieved this season while AC Milan are exceeding expectations, says former Italy international Massimo Oddo.
Just two points and one league position separate the city rivals heading into Saturday's derby clash at San Siro, with the Rossoneri in sixth and Stefano Pioli's side seventh.
Both teams have won 17 of their 31 Serie A matches this term but Milan - Supercoppa Italiana winners in December - are enjoying an encouraging run of form, while Inter have lost back-to-back matches.
Inter have invested heavily in the squad since last season, with Joao Mario, Gabriel Barbosa and Antonio Candreva the marquee signings of a reported €154million splurge, while Milan have largely focused on developing young players who have emerged through the ranks.
And Oddo, who was part of Milan's last title-winning campaign in 2010-11, believes his old side deserve recognition for out-performing their fierce rivals.
He told Omnisport: "I think Inter's technical qualities are bigger than Milan's and for this reason Inter could and should have achieved way more than they have so far, whilst I guess Milan are getting more results than expected."
Oddo, a World Cup winner with Italy in 2006, says Inter still boast the stronger individuals but feels Milan will reap the benefits of promoting youngsters – like Gianluigi Donnarumma and Manuel Locatelli – in the coming years.
"Every team have their own potential and strengths, both Inter and Milan have theirs. For sure, there are players the managers would bring in [from the other club]," he said.
"At this moment there are more Inter players who would be 'stolen' by Milan. Let's say I mean the experienced players.
"On the other hand, Milan boast many young talents and are showing that they have been working very well within the youth ranks. This is proved by the many youngsters Milan are now bringing through and that will be the future of Italian football.
"Therefore, from this point of view, if we are talking about experience Inter have the upper hand, if we talk about youth and talent, Milan have better numbers."