0922 GMT February 21, 2020
Sunday's game will be the moment of truth for Inter coach Luciano Spalletti, as amid claims of dressing room quarrels the club has still not fully emerged from the crisis of recent weeks, despite last week's win against bottom club Benevento, AFP reported.
Inter occupies fourth position – the final Champions League spot – but Roma is just one point behind before it goes to leader Napoli.
Milan is seven points behind in seventh.
Steven Zhang – son of owner Zhang Jindong – joined the Inter team at its snow-covered Appiano Gentile training center this week, underlining the significance of the clash as the Nerazzurri struggle for form.
"This weekend is the moment of truth," said Inter center-back Milan Skriniar of a game which will be followed by a home clash with Napoli.
"Certainly my stay at Inter isn't linked to whether we qualify for the Champions League, although I'm convinced we'll get there," added the Slovak, who joined from Sampdoria last summer.
Inter should be boosted by the return of captain and top scorer Mauro Icardi as he targets his 100th Serie A goal.
He scored a hat-trick when Inter won its last Serie A derby meeting 3-2 in October, but AC Milan took the honors in the Italian Cup in December, a Patrick Cutrone goal in extra time giving them a 1-0 victory.
Milan is unbeaten since then, and is currently riding high after back-to-back wins at the Stadio Olimpico during the week.
Gennaro Gattuso's side beat Roma in Serie A and then battled past Lazio 5-4 on penalties to reach the Italian Cup final, where the Rossoneri will face Juventus.
Undefeated in 13 games in all competitions, Milan knows a win against its great rival will bring the club right into contention for a top-four place and Champions League qualification.
Sampdoria, who sit in a Europa League berth in sixth, travels to Atalanta which is six points back in eighth.