Gullit: Milan giants lack identity

Getty Images


Ruud Gullit believes neither AC Milan or Inter Milan can claim to head into Monday's (AEDT) derby with an identity despite improved seasons.

One of the most famous fixtures in European football takes place at San Siro with both clubs well off the pace in the race for the Scudetto but both contending for UEFA Champions League qualification.

Milan is unbeaten in 12 games in all competitions under Gennaro Gattuso, a run that started with a Coppa Italia defeat of its arch rival in December, and has won its past five matches, but is still seven points adrift of Inter in fourth, the Nerazzurri having fallen away after initially looking like a Serie A title contender under Luciano Spalletti.

The Rossoneri also has the UEFA Europa League route back into the UEFA Champions League, although it faces a tricky Round of 16 tie with an Arsenal side for which the competition is also the most likely means of qualifying for the continent's premier club tournament.

Inter won the reverse league fixture in October 3-2 thanks to a Mauro Icardi hat-trick, but Gullit, who won three Serie A titles and two European Cups with Milan, gives the slight edge to Gattuso's men this time around after their impressive 2-0 victory at Roma last time out.

Speaking at the Laureus Awards, Gullit said: "Milan are doing well. They won away against Roma. Inter aren't playing really, really well. But they're winning. 

"It's going to be a scruffy game, like always. It's all about passion, it's all about who is going to be punished for the first mistake they make. 

"So, to put a bet on it, it's difficult... because it's not the best football they both can play. 

"If you know Juventus, you know how they play. You know how Napoli plays. These two teams don't have an identity yet, so it's difficult to say, but I hope, of course, that Milan will win."