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This will not necessarily be a direct battle, although they are bound to cross paths in the heart of the midfield in Sunday's game.
Mateo Kovacic comes into the side to replace the suspended Ricky Alvarez, while Andrea Poli will replace the suspended Riccardo Montolivo.
Both players will hope to stake a claim for a more regular slot in the side, while aiming to sufficiently cover their teammates' absence.
While Montolivo has not been in superb form, there is a certain quality to be able to impose himself on a game of this magnitude, but Poli is unproven on the big stage, so the derby will tell us whether the former Samp midfielder is worth persevering with or not.
Kovacic is a more peculiar case, as his youth means that nobody doubts whether he is capable of cutting it at this level for Inter, but it is a matter of when, and while Walter Mazzarri is in the premature stages of his tenure, he has resisted the temptation to build around the Croatian.
Kovacic has the ability to force his way into the starting lineup, even when Alvarez returns, so a slightly deeper role in the derby will really help him to knit Inter's midfield and attack together.