Former AC Milan midfielder Riccardo Montolivo has warned the Rossoneri that Antonio Conte’s Inter side will be ready to pounce whenever they falter this season.
As things stand, AC Milan are leading the way in Serie A with 43 points after 18 games, putting them three points clear of Inter heading into this weekend’s round of games.
The Nerazzurri have been playing catch up to their neighbours all season now they are within striking distance Montolivo does not expect them to let up.
“The numbers of the two teams are similar so far, the path they are on is identical and it is only the points from AC Milan’s win in the derby that are separating them,” the ex-Italy international explained in an interview with Italian broadcaster Sky Sport Italia today.
“AC Milan are a credible side while Inter are a classic Conte team, they are never beaten and they will be there waiting until the end to take advantage of any slip ups.
“Juventus are the strongest team, but you have to do your talking on the pitch and then the best team wins.”
Montolivo then went on to draw similarities between Inter this season and Conte’s first year in charge of Juventus, when the Bianconeri reeled in and overhauled Montolivo’s AC Milan side to win the Scudetto in 2012.
“Conte knows how to wait behind you in the table and take advantage of slip ups,” he explained.
“When you see Inter play well you think it all comes easily for them, but everything is carefully prepared, the players always know what to do.
“The team has a great presence in the penalty box, from Romelu Lukaku to the midfielders.
“It’s difficult for defences to keep them out.
“Conte is a meritocratic coach, he doesn’t care about reputations.
“He knows he cannot underestimate any match; the Coppa Italia quarter-final against AC Milan will take care of itself so for now he wants to concentrate on beating Udinese.”
Inter will complete the first half of their league campaign with a trip to play Udinese tomorrow.
The Nerazzurri are 13 places and 23 points better off than Luca Gotti’s side but they cannot afford to drop points if they wish to keep pressure on their city rivals, who host Atalanta.