Stefano Pioli has become the latest head coach to lead both Inter and city rivals AC Milan. 

Former Inter boss Pioli joins an exclusive club after replacing Marco Giampaolo at Milan, who finally lost faith just seven Serie A games into his tenure.

Pioli is no stranger to San Siro, having spent a season on the blue side of Milan in 2016-17.

Inter had won 12 of their first 16 Serie A matches under Pioli before a run of five losses and two draws prior to his sacking in May two years ago.

As Pioli prepares to take the reins amid backlash from Milan fans and the hashtag "#PioliOut", we look at the coaches to have worked on both sides of the divide in a fierce rivalry dating back to 1909.

 

JOZSEF VIOLA

Viola was the first man to coach both Inter and Milan. Inter, then known as Societa Sportiva Ambrosiana, appointed the 32-year-old Hungarian for the 1928-29 season.

After three years at Atalanta, Viola made a switch to Milan for a brief stint in 1933-34. Known for his work as a player and a coach with Juventus, the one-cap Hungary international returned to the Rossoneri from 1939 to 1940.

GIUSEPPE BIGOGNO

A stalwart at Fiorentina, Bigogno left Florence for the red side of Milan in 1946. The Italian led Milan to a second-placed finish in 1947-48 prior to leaving a year later.

Bigogno's coaching career took him to Torino, Lazio and Udinese before ending up at Inter, where he only lasted half a season in 1958.

LUIGI RADICE

A member of Italy's 1962 World Cup squad, former Milan full-back Radice took charge of his boyhood club in 1981 after stints with Monza, Treviso, Cesena, Fiorentina, Cagliari, Torino and Bologna. Radice, who survived a car accident in 1979 which killed two men before passing away in 2018, was replaced by Italo Galbiati halfway through the season as Milan were eventually relegated.

Radice then joined Inter in 1983 - the Nerazzurri finished fourth in his sole season.

ILARIO CASTAGNER

A rare exception, Castagner went straight from Milan to Inter. Castagner guided Milan to promotion at the end of the 1982-83 season, winning the Serie B title. However, he was sacked in March 1984.

Castagner quickly found his feet, crossing the divide to Inter, where he oversaw a third-placed finish in Serie A and runs to the semi-finals of the UEFA Cup and Coppa Italia. He was surprisingly replaced by Mario Corso in November 1985.

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI

Having represented Milan as a player between 1959 and 71 - winning the Scudetto and European Cup twice, among other honours - Trapattoni began coaching the club at youth level. Considered the most successful club coach in Serie A history, he was named caretaker for a brief spell in 1974, later serving as first team coach.

After six Serie A titles with Juventus, Trapattoni controversially returned to San Siro but as Inter boss from 1986 to 1991. During his time at Inter, he won the Scudetto (1988-89), Supercoppa Italiana (1989) and UEFA Cup (1990-91).

ALBERTO ZACCHERONI

Milan went from Fabio Capello to Zaccheroni in 1998. The new man made an immediate impact, winning Serie A by one point ahead of Lazio in his first season at the helm. Almost two campaigns followed before Zaccheroni was sacked in March 2001.

Inter turned to him in the middle of the 2003-04 season following Hector Cuper's exit. Despite guiding Inter to fourth place and securing Champions League qualification, Zaccheroni's tenure was brief as president Massimo Moratti replaced him with Roberto Mancini.

LEONARDO

Now sporting director of Ligue 1 champions Paris Saint-Germain, Leonardo was the last coach to represent both Milan and Inter.

A member of the Milan squad that won the 1998-99 Scudetto, the Brazilian was tasked with following in the footsteps of successful coach Carlo Ancelotti, who left for Chelsea in 2009, despite lacking the required coaching badges. Stepping up from his role as technical director, Leonardo's start to life as coach was difficult following a shock 4-0 loss to Inter. Results showed signs of improvement but Leonardo eventually departed by mutual agreement at season's end.

In December 2010, Leonardo replaced Rafael Benitez at Inter on an 18-month contract. He set a Serie A record by collecting 33 points in 13 games and oversaw a memorable Champions League win over Bayern Munich. However, Leonardo - who ended his spell with Coppa Italia glory - eventually resigned in June after the club's failed title bid.

Stefano Pioli has been appointed as the new head coach of AC Milan, replacing the sacked Marco Giampaolo.

The Rossoneri severed ties with Giampaolo on Tuesday after just seven competitive games in charge, despite a thrilling 2-1 victory over Genoa on Saturday.

Milan confirmed Pioli's appointment in a statement on their official website on Wednesday.

"AC Milan announces the appointment with immediate effect of Mr Stefano Pioli as the new coach of the first team," the statement said.

Milan said 53-year-old Pioli has signed a two-year contract with them.

Former Inter boss Pioli had been out of working since resigning as head coach of Fiorentina in April.

Pioli spent barely six months in charge of Inter, joining in November 2016 and losing his job in May 2017, while he has also had a spell at Lazio.

Luciano Spalletti, sacked by Inter at the end of last term, had been linked, while Gennaro Gattuso was tipped with a swift return and Milan great Andriy Shevchenko was thought to have been under consideration.

Pioli's first aim will be to breathe life into a faltering Milan side, who are 10 points behind leaders Juventus after just seven matches and sit 13th in Serie A.

Gattuso led Milan to their highest placing since the 2012-13 campaign, but a failure to gain Champions League football and question marks over the team's style of play saw him replaced at the end of last season by Giampaolo, who spent three years at Sampdoria before taking the Milan job.

Marco Giampaolo has become the latest AC Milan head coach to see his time at San Siro cut unceremoniously short.

Appointed in June on an initial two-year contract, the 52-year-old oversaw just seven Serie A matches before becoming the seventh Rossoneri boss to be sacked since Massimiliano Allegri left in January 2014.

Four defeats and only six goals scored in those seven league games underlines the difficult start to the season Milan have made, even if they did battle to a decent win over Genoa on Saturday.

Still, sacking a coach so soon in a season is remarkably impatient and short-sighted, surely? Well, Opta data paints something of a different picture...


1 - This is the first team a Milan head coach has been sacked after the first seven matchdays of a Serie A season.

5 - There are actually only five coaches, including Giampaolo, who did not reach 10 games in all competitions in charge. The others are Arrigo Morselli (nine games, September to November 1953); Cristian Brocchi (seven games, April to May 2016); Bruno Arcari (six games, May to June 1956); and Paolo Barison (five games, June 1976).

4 - Giampaolo is the first Milan boss to lose four of his first six Serie A games since Italo Galbiati back in 1982. Giampaolo lost to Udinese, Inter, Torino and Fiorentina. In fact, the last Milan coach to lose three games in a row in the league was Vincenzo Montella in October 2017.

100 - Giampaolo's record in Serie A is an average of 1.17 points per game from 315 matches in total. Of the current coaches in Serie A to have taken charge of 100 or more matches, only Cagliari's Rolando Maran has a lower average (1.15 from 246 games). The next lowest is Sinisa Mihajlovic, another former Milan boss, who averages 1.4 points per game from 269 in total.

- Giampaolo is the second coach to be sacked in Serie A after the first seven matchdays - Giuseppe Iachini with Udinese was the first in 2016-17. The other? Giampaolo's successor at Sampdoria, Eusebio Di Francesco, also lasted just seven games this season before being dismissed on Monday.

Marco Giampaolo has been sacked as head coach of AC Milan after just seven games in charge.

The Rossoneri have endured a difficult start to the campaign and not even a 2-1 win over Genoa on Saturday was enough to convince the board to keep Giampaolo.

After replacing Gennaro Gattuso at San Siro, Giampaolo was tasked with building on Milan's fifth-place finish in Serie A last season but his tenure got off to a poor start with a 1-0 defeat at Udinese on opening weekend.

Victories over Brescia and Hellas Verona followed, but a 2-0 derby defeat to Inter preceded losses against Torino and Fiorentina.

In a brief statement published on Tuesday, the club said: "AC Milan announces it has relieved Mr. Marco Giampaolo from his position as coach of the first team.

"The club is grateful to Marco for the work carried out and wishes him all the best to come in his professional career."

Former Inter boss Stefano Pioli is expected to be named as Giampaolo's replacement.

Pioli has been out of work since resigning from his previous job at Fiorentina in April. He has also had spells with Lazio and the Nerazzurri during his coaching career, lasting just seven months in charge of the latter between November 2016 and May 2017.

Another former Inter boss in Luciano Spalletti had been linked, while Gattuso was tipped with a swift return and Milan great Andriy Shevchenko was thought to have been under consideration.

Pioli's immediate task will be to inspire a side sitting 13th in Serie A after seven matches, already 10 points adrift of leaders and defending champions Juventus.

Gattuso led Milan to their highest placing since the 2012-13 campaign, but a failure to gain Champions League football and question marks over the team's style of play saw him replaced by Giampaolo, who spent three years at Sampdoria before taking the Milan job.

Marco Giampaolo has been sacked as head coach of AC Milan after just seven games in charge.

Inter midfielder Stefano Sensi has suffered a thigh injury, the Serie A club confirmed.

Italy international Sensi was substituted before half-time during Sunday's 2-1 home defeat to Juventus – a result that saw Antonio Conte's side lose their 100 per cent record in Serie A and top spot to the champions.

A statement released by Inter on Tuesday read: "Stefano Sensi underwent medical tests this morning at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Rozzano.

"The results showed an elongation of the adductors in his right thigh. The condition of the Nerazzurri midfielder will be reassessed in the coming days."

Sensi will miss Italy's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece and Liechtenstein due to the problem.

No timeframe has been placed on Sensi's recovery, though reports suggest Inter are hopeful he could be back in action against his former club Sassuolo after the international break.

The 24-year-old has proved an important figure since moving to San Siro during the close season, featuring in every match of the Conte era to date.

Paulo Dybala is delighted to be part of a vibrant Juventus attack under Maurizio Sarri after it looked like he could be on his way out of the club.

Dybala starred in Sunday's 2-1 win over Inter at San Siro, opening the scoring as the reigning champions returned to a familiar position at the top of Serie A.

It appeared unlikely that the Argentina forward would have such a prominent role after a close season when he was linked to Manchester United, Tottenham and Paris Saint-Germain.

"I have not experienced an easy summer," the 25-year-old told Tuttosport. "Obviously hearing your name with every team you don't want to go to is not a nice thing, but this is football.

"Before the market started I had already done an interview in which I said I wanted to stay in Turin, then I never spoke again, not even at the Copa America. 

"I think it's more important to talk on the field, with facts. You never know how the market goes until the last day, but I wanted to stay here, I wanted to continue my career at Juventus. 

"I think I can still give so much to this shirt and I'm very happy with what I showed against Inter."

Dybala lined up alongside Cristiano Ronaldo up front in the Derby d'Italia, with Federico Bernardeschi behind them at the tip of a midfield diamond – a role that has also been filled by Aaron Ramsey during recent outings.

Gonzalo Higuain then came off the bench to score the winner and Dybala reported life is good under Sarri for Juve's assortment of attackers – arguably more so than under Massimiliano Allegri.

"They are different as a way of playing and you can already see that," he added.

"With Allegri we have done many things, but I think Sarri is a little more offensive and you can already see that he plays more [offensively] than Allegri's idea.

"To prove it [can be successful], we have to wait for what will happen. With Sarri it is so offensive, so it's easier for us attackers."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be concerned that one more significant defeat could see him sacked as Manchester United manager.

Although Ed Woodward has given his backing to the former striker and insisted the club has faith in their longer-term plan, it seems the loss to Newcastle United on Sunday has caused particular concern.

AC Milan, meanwhile, could make a change in the dugout on Tuesday, while Real Madrid are considering a Chelsea midfielder.

 

TOP STORY – SOLKSJAER FACING SACK IF UNITED LOSE HANDSOMELY TO LIVERPOOL

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may not survive at Manchester United if they suffer a significant defeat to Liverpool.

The Daily Mail and the Mirror claim executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward was very concerned by the manner of the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United, despite giving the manager public support.

It is suggested Woodward could choose to dismiss Solskjaer if United are beaten heavily by league leaders Liverpool on October 20 - much as Jose Mourinho was sacked after a 3-1 loss at Anfield last year.

 

ROUND-UP

- United are in desperate need of goals but one of their targets, Moussa Dembele, could be stolen away from Lyon by Everton for £40million in January, according to Football Insider.

AC Milan are another major club ready to make a change in the dugout. Gianluca Di Marzio claims the Rossoneri could replace Marco Giampaolo with former Inter boss Stefano Pioli as early as Tuesday.

- Inter, meanwhile, are plotting a bid for out-of-favour Barcelona midfielder Ivan Rakitic, according to Calciomercato.com.

Real Madrid appear to have turned a corner under Zinedine Zidane but the former France star still wants a new midfielder. Sport say he has sanctioned a possible January bid for Chelsea's N'Golo Kante.

- In France, Sylvinho paid the price for Lyon's poor form - particularly Sunday's derby defeat to Saint-Etienne - and the Ligue 1 side are considering former Valencia boss Marcelino as his replacement, according to Soccer Link.

Juventus defender Matthijs de Ligt laughed off rumours of being put on a low-carbohydrate diet at the request of head coach Maurizio Sarri.

De Ligt has endured a tricky start to life at Serie A champions Juve since his €75million arrival from Eredivisie holders Ajax in the off-season.

The 20-year-old has shown signs of improvement in Turin, where the Netherlands centre-back has started to form a promising partnership with veteran Leonardo Bonucci following Giorgio Chiellini's serious knee injury.

De Ligt was asked about speculation that Sarri put him on a special diet amid fears over his weight and he told Nu.nl: "It really is a wild story.

"It doesn't surprise me anymore. Sometimes I think I had a decent game, but apparently there's something wrong after all. But those are only opinions. It's important to know what I do well and what went wrong – and I know that well.

"Every new player should get the time to adapt to the team. Juventus had two great defenders already with Chiellini and Bonucci. The plan was to let me enter the team slowly, but it worked out differently. Obviously it's great that I get to play already, but you get thrown in at the deep end right away. That's a great challenge for me.

"The most important lesson I have learned so far at Juventus is that you need self-confidence. In the beginning, I noticed I was way too concerned about not making mistakes and that's exactly what you shouldn't do. I never played that way and in my first weeks I was too focused on that.

"After that game against Atletico Madrid [in the Champions League] I called myself to order, in a way. I wanted to play with confidence again. Maybe still some things will go wrong, but at least I know for sure things are better than before. Since then I have an upward trend.

"The critiques you get after the game are part of the deal. Unfortunately that's the life of a defender. You're balancing on such a thin line of playing good or bad. Of course I'd rather not give away a penalty kick, but in the end we won [against Inter] and that's what matters."

Roberto Mancini is prepared to wait on Gabriel Martinelli as Italy try to secure the Arsenal forward's international future.

Martinelli, 18, was born in Guarulhos in Brazil but is said to be eligible to represent Italy through his father.

It was reported on Monday the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) contacted Martinelli to try to convince him to reject Brazil and commit his future to the Azzurri.

Mancini, though, accepts it will take time for the process to be completed.

"In the case of Martinelli, it is not so easy," the Italy boss told reporters on Monday. "You have to submit a request and it may take a long time. It is a long wait for these players who have a double passport."

For now, Mancini is not considering many changes to his squad before Euro 2020.

Italy can qualify for the tournament if they beat Greece on Saturday and Armenia fail to defeat Liechtenstein, and Mancini already has most of his team in mind.

"The group is more or less decided. Two or three players might come in or out, maybe," he said. "If someone is suddenly unavailable then we'll see what happens, but the players who will go to the Euros are all here."

That could prove bad news for Mario Balotelli, who was overlooked for the latest squad and has only made two appearances for Brescia this season.

Mancini, though, suggested his former Manchester City striker could still get back into his plans if he can put together a strong run of performances.

"He's only just come back after months out and he's not quite there physically yet," said Mancini. "He did well against Napoli but he needs to play more games."

Ronald Koeman says Matthijs de Ligt needs to adapt to a new way of defending with Juventus.

The centre-back joined the Serie A champions in July for an initial fee of €75million after a standout season with Champions League semi-finalists Ajax.

He endured a tough debut in Italy's top flight in Juve's dramatic 4-3 win over Napoli but has shown some encouraging signs of a blossoming partnership with Leonardo Bonucci in recent weeks.

Koeman thinks the 20-year-old still needs to take lessons from the "Italian school" of defending, but the Netherlands boss is not surprised to see a player so young still have room for improvement.

"I'm always a big advocate for adapting to your new team, your new country and your new team-mates," Koeman told reporters. "I think he really does need to adapt to a new way of defending, because it's different from the way he played at Ajax. Maybe that's the 'Italian school'.

"Bonucci said the same: he also needs to adapt to this kind of zonal marking [under head coach Maurizio Sarri] instead of the way they defended under [Massimiliano] Allegri. I think Matthijs needs time. But he's already so good at this age. It would be weird if he didn't have to learn anymore.

"Just before the last international break, there was lots of criticism, but he still played really well with the national team. I think this is a very nice environment for him. But with time, I think he'll learn how to adapt to his new position at Juventus as well. I think he can reach a very high level both in our team and at Juventus."

De Ligt's focus for now is on helping Netherlands in their bid to qualify for Euro 2020.

Oranje meet Northern Ireland and Belarus in the international break and will look to close the three-point gap to leaders Germany at the top of Group C.

Koeman is confident in his side's chances of progressing as he considers their squad, particularly their attack, a rival for the world's finest teams.

"I think we have a squad that is equal to the squads of other countries - and I'm talking about the best countries in the world," he said.

"That's also thanks to the development of our attacking players and upcoming talents that aren't with the squad yet. They are so creative, dynamic and quick that they make us more dangerous offensively.

"In the past, that's where we had some problems. But that's also one of the reasons why we selected so many attackers [seven] and only five midfielders instead of six and more attackers. We have more choice than ever before."

Netherlands host Northern Ireland, who are also three points ahead of them, on Thursday before facing Belarus three days later.

Sampdoria have sacked Eusebio Di Francesco after a poor start to the Serie A season left them bottom of the table.

Di Francesco departed on Monday, two days after a 2-0 defeat away to Hellas Verona made it six defeats out of seven league games.

Samp handed Di Francesco a three-year deal in June, with the coach returning to the dugout four months after being let go by Roma.

"The president Massimo Ferrero and Sampdoria announce they have reached a mutual agreement with Eusebio Di Francesco and his technical staff to end their professional relationship," said a club statement.

"The president and his colleagues thank Di Francesco and his staff for their work."

Di Francesco's predecessor Marco Giampaolo is also struggling in Serie A this season with his AC Milan side 13th despite a weekend win at Genoa.

 

Stefano Sensi will miss Italy's Euro 2020 qualifiers against Greece and Liechtenstein due to injury.

The midfielder is unavailable for international duty after he was forced off in the first half of Inter's 2-1 defeat to Juventus in Serie A on Sunday.

Sensi was included by Italy coach Roberto Mancini in his squad for the upcoming fixtures last week, but Italy confirmed on Monday the 24-year-old will now instead remain at his club to undergo treatment.

The Azzurri sit top of Group J with a 100 per cent record, recording six wins from six so far in qualifying.

Sensi was involved in the victories over Armenia and Finland in September, starting the 2-1 triumph against the latter, while he scored his first international goal in a 6-0 thrashing of Liechtenstein back in March.

However, he will not feature in the return fixture next Tuesday, with that game coming three days after Mancini's side host Greece at the Stadio Olimpico.

Inter's 100 per cent start to the Serie A season came to a crashing halt on Sunday as champions Juventus returned to the top of the table with a significant win at San Siro.

Gonzalo Higuain's late strike sealed a 2-1 win for Maurizio Sarri's side as they inflicted a first domestic defeat on Antonio Conte since he joined the Nerazzurri ahead of the 2019-20 campaign.

There is a two-week break now for international action before the sides return to domestic duties on the weekend of October 19/20.

Here, Omnisport predicts how both clubs could fare in their first five fixtures upon the resumption of Serie A and how the table might look come mid-November.

 

FAVOURABLE RUN FOR CONTE'S MEN

Predictions for next five fixtures:

- Sassuolo 0-3 Inter

- Inter 2-1 Parma

- Brescia 0-2 Inter

- Bologna 1-3 Inter

- Inter 3-0 Hellas Verona

Inter will be targeting a maximum points return from their five games and there is little reason they cannot achieve that, given the mediocrity of their opponents. They do not face a team that is currently positioned higher than 10th, which should have Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez licking their lips.

Given three of the games are away from home, Conte might remain cautious but there is a great chance to crank up the pressure on Juve.

TRICKY DOUBLE-HEADER AWAITS CHAMPIONS

Juventus 3-1 Bologna

Lecce 0-2 Juventus

Juventus 3-0 Genoa

Torino 1-1 Juventus

Juventus 2-2 AC Milan

Like Inter, Juventus take on a string of sides who have started the season in less than stellar fashion. They should have few problems in their first three games, given two of those sides currently languish in the relegation zone, but it is the games against Torino and AC Milan that could prove tricky.

With speculation mounting that Marco Giampaolo could lose his job at Milan, the Rossoneri might well be under new leadership by the time that fixture rolls around, while Torino will be fired up to get one over on their city rivals. Those factors could be enough to see Sarri's side drop points and hand the title advantage to Inter. 

If our predictions are correct, Inter will hold a three-point lead over Juve by the middle of November. Clearly, the race for the title will be far from over but it might just allow Conte and his men to dream about ending the Bianconeri's eight-year stranglehold on the scudetto.

Marco Giampaolo's time at AC Milan could already be over and the Serie A giants are considering replacements.

Milan overcame Genoa for their third win in seven league games this season, but they are still struggling in 13th in the table.

Giampaolo's stint at the helm at San Siro may be over already after just over three months in charge.

 

TOP STORY – MILAN CONSIDER GIAMPAOLO'S FUTURE WITH PIOLI, SPALLETTI FAVOURITES

Milan are leaning towards sacking Giampaolo despite the win over Genoa, according to CalcioMercato.

SempreMilan reports the club almost sacked Giampaolo at half-time, when the side were trailing before fighting back.

According to Sky Sport, former Inter coaches Stefano Pioli and Luciano Spalletti are favourites for the Milan job.

 

ROUND-UP

- Looking to strengthen in January, Manchester United sent scouts to watch Lyon forward Moussa Dembele against Saint-Etienne on Sunday, according to the Daily Mail. Dembele came off the bench for struggling Lyon in the 1-0 loss.

- Juventus and Inter look set to battle for the Serie A title and they could be fighting elsewhere too. La Gazzetta dello Sport reports the Italian giants are set to fight to sign Fiorentina forward Federico Chiesa and Brescia midfielder Sandro Tonali.

- Leicester City are looking for a replacement for Ben Chilwell as they prepare for clubs to bid for the left-back, according to The Sun, which links Manchester City and Chelsea with £50million moves for the England international.

- Out to improve their defence, Arsenal are targeting Wolves centre-back Willy Boly, according to The Sun. A France youth international, Boly joined Wolves from Porto, initially on loan before the move was made permanent last year.

- Newcastle United could make a move for Nottingham Forest centre-back Joe Worrall in January, The Sun reports. Worrall, 22, is coming out of contract at season's end and the Premier League club could land him on the cheap in early 2020.

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