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With the Curva Nord section closed, the San Siro Stadium will be emptier than usual for Sunday’s big match between Inter and AC Milan.
A disciplinary tribunal ordered that the section of the ground that normally houses Inter’s more hardcore supporters be closed for two matches due to offensive chanting during the recent 4-2 defeat at Napoli.
This has not gone down well with either set of supporters who have argued that the normal atmosphere will be missing, and some supporters have even threatened to boycott the match in protest.
On the pitch itself, Inter have been displaying the better form under new coach Walter Mazzarri, lying in fifth place in Seri A on 28pts and with 36 goals, the most in the table at present.
Last week’s loss at Napoli was a big blow to their ambitions of getting back into Europe, and they will not need any motivation to beat their city rivals who have won just four league games this season.
Injuries to the likes of Giampaolo Pazzini and Stephan El Shaarawy have not helped AC Milan’s cause, and in truth their season now rests on progressing further in the Champions League, in which they have reached the last 16.
On current form it is the blue side of the city that will be more optimistic of celebrating this weekend, even if not that many turn up to watch.