Juventus - Inter Preview: League leaders clash in Derby d'Italia
The Bianconeri are looking to make it 50 games undefeated in Serie A, and fend off the challenge of Andrea Stramaccioni's side, who are on an eight-game winning run
By Craig Turnbull
Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini
L'steiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah Vucinic, Giovinco
Silvestre, Samuel, Ranocchia
Z'ntti, Guarin, Gargano, Cambiasso, N'omo
It was back in March when Claudio Ranieri received the bullet from Inter after losing to Juventus, and while Andrea Stramaccioni will not be under anywhere near pressure of that magnitude, there is no question that if the Nerazzurri harbour ambitions of winning the Scudetto, then they must get a result at the Juventus Stadium on Saturday.
Stramaccioni men have turned a corner after a shaky start, and the 3-2 victory over Sampdoria midweek ensured an eighth straight win in all competitions for the San Siro outfit.
The hosts, meanwhile, continue to take Serie A by storm and if they avoid defeat against a much-improved Inter side, then they will make it 50 league games unbeaten, putting more pressure on AC Milan's 20-year record of 58 without losing.
Giorgio Chiellini, Stephan Lichtsteiner, Claudio Marchisio and Kwadwo Asamoah are all expected to be back in the starting line-up with Martin Caceres, Mauricio Isla, Emanuele Giaccherini and Paolo De Ceglie dropping to the bench.
However, less certain is whether or not coach Antonio Conte will continue to play Paul Pogba, who scored the last-minute winner against the Rossoblu on Wednesday, or sacrifice him for Arturo Vidal, whose form has been indifferent of late, though did score against Catania last Sunday.
The Juve tactician seems still unsure of his favoured striking partnership and has the dilemma of deciding who to play upfront, with Sebastian Giovinco and Mirko Vucinic in contention for a start on Saturday. Nicklas Bendtner and Fabio Quagliarella, who led the line midweek, may have to be content with a place on the bench in Derby d'Italia.
Inter meanwhile, will revert to a three-man defence after playing four at the back against Sampdoria. Matias Silvestre could make his 10th appearance of the season alongside Walter Samuel and Andrea Ranocchia. Gaby Mudingayi is expected to be replaced by Esteban Cambiasso.
Alvaro Pereira, who slotted in at right-back, will be replaced by Japanese star Yuto Nagatomo as the Nerazzurri are set to go five in midfieldm with Rodrigo Palacio, who played in a front three on Wednesday, dropping to the bench.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Juventus have made their best ever start to a season since Serie A became a 20-team league, beating Fabio Capello's 27-point record set in 2005-06.
- The Bianconeri's 2-1 victory over Bologna means they are now 49 games undefeated and are only nine matches behind AC Milan's historic 58-game unbeaten run from 1991 to 1993.
- Antonio Conte's men last lost a match in Serie A in the penultimate round of the 2010-11 season. They lost to Parma, which coincidently was the team to end Milan's unbeaten league record back in 1993.
- Inter have not won in Turin against the Old Lady since January 2008. They last beat them 3-2 in the Coppa Italia with two goals from Mario Balotelli in 2008.
- Saturday's clash is set to be coach Andrea Stramaccioni's (pictured, right) first game against Juventus. His predecessor Claudio Ranieri was sacked after a defeat to the Bianconeri back in March.
- Stramaccioni's Inter have won eight consecutive games in all competitions this season. The record for most amount of victories in a row for the Nerazzurri is held by coach Roberto Mancini, whose side won 13 on the trot back in 2007-08.
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Top 3 Predictions
Juventus 2-0 FC Internazionale
- 21.67 %
Juventus 1-2 FC Internazionale
- 21.23 %
Juventus 2-1 FC Internazionale
- 9.32 %
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Feb 2, 2014||Juventus 3 - FC Internazionale 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Sep 14, 2013||FC Internazionale 1 - Juventus 1|
|Guinness International Champions Cup (ICC)||Aug 6, 2013||Juventus 1 - FC Internazionale 1|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Mar 30, 2013||FC Internazionale 1 - Juventus 2|
|Italy - Serie A (ITA1)||Nov 3, 2012||Juventus 1 - FC Internazionale 3|
|Mar 9, 2014||Juventus 1 - Fiorentina 0||ITA1|
|Mar 2, 2014||AC Milan 0 - Juventus 2||ITA1|
|Feb 27, 2014||Trabzonspor AŞ 0 - Juventus 2||EL|
|Feb 23, 2014||Juventus 1 - Torino 0||ITA1|
|Feb 20, 2014||Juventus 2 - Trabzonspor AŞ 0||EL|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
'The Atomic Ant' could be the key to Juve's success on Saturday. He assisted the winning goal against Bologna in midweek, and has plenty of potential to give the Inter defence a torrid time. The diminutive attacker has yet to really come alive this season, and perhaps the lack of game time has hampered his form, but the Derby d'Italia could be the match to kick-start his campaign.
Juventus defender Andrea Barzagli has already conceded that the Argentine striker is a threat not to be taken lightly. Milito may have a point to prove, having yet to score against the Bianconeri since joining the Nerazzurri in 2009. Nevertheless, the 33-year-old has hit a rich vein of form recently, and has five goals to his name this season.
Andrea Stramaccioni's men will be boosted by the 3-2 victory over Sampdoria after coming back from one goal behind at half-time, but the Nerazzurri have struggled against Antonio Conte's men in recent matches and a win here may be beyond them despite a 100 per cent away record so far. The hosts, however, have been doing just enough to grind out results without blowing teams away, and it will be hard to separate the two teams.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed