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Currently seventh in Serie A, Claudio Ranieri's men appear in complete disarray at the moment, but the Italy international retains the utmost respect for the Nerazzurri

Giorgio Chiellini has claimed that Inter remain Juventus' greatest rivals ahead of the Derby d'Italia.

The Bianconeri are currently battling it out with AC Milan for this year's Scudetto, while the Nerazzurri are languishing in seventh and in real jeopardy of failing to qualify for next season's Champions League.

However, Chiellini believes that there is no bigger game in Italian football than Juventus versus Inter.

"It's true that at the moment, from the media's point of view, the game against Inter has maybe lost some of its lustre," he told Sky Sport24.

"But they remain our biggest rivals and we've talked a lot about this within the dressing room this week."

However, Chiellini did concede that Juventus are facing the Nerazzurri at an opportune time, in light of the San Siro side's stuttering form of late.

"Inter this season are going through a difficult period," the 27-year-old admitted. "They were strong but at this time we feel in better shape than them."

The goal now, Chiellini, admits is to emulate the Nerazzurri's achievements under former boss Roberto Mancini and his predecessor Jose Mourinho, in re-establishing themselves as a major force once more after years in the wilderness.

"I hope that Juventus can follow the same path as Inter, who have recovered after a difficult time," he confessed.

"I also hope that this season might mean the beginning of a new era for us."

Juve's meeting with Inter in Turin gets underway on Sunday at 20:45CET.

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