Inter-Juventus Preview: Nerazzurri target Bianconeri double
Andrea Stramaccioni's side ended their rivals' 49-game unbeaten run in November and they will be hoping to slow down Antonio Conte's men's title charge on Saturday
By Craig Turnbull
Zanetti, Ranocchia, Chivu, Pereira
Gargano, Kovacic, Cambiasso
Barzagli, Marrone, Bonucci
L'stiner, Vidal, Pirlo, Marchisio, Asamoah
In this second league installment of the Derby d'Italia, Inter will be aiming to once again spoil the Bianconeri party as Andrea Stramaccioni celebrates his year in charge of the Nerazzurri.
The young coach was appointed boss after Claudio Ranieri was dismissed following a 2-0 defeat to Saturday's visitors last March, and while a similar scoreline would not spell the end of Stramaccioni's tenure, it certainly would not ease the recent pressure.
The hosts haven't been in a great form of late but will be buoyed by the 4-1 victory over Tottenham in the Europa League second leg clash.
Inter are forced to make two changes from the side that lost 1-0 to Bologna after Juan Jesus picked up a suspension and Dejan Stankovic has continued injury problems.
Influential goalkeeper Samir Handanovic should return to the starting XI, while Antonio Cassano could partner Rodrigo Palacio upfront. Fredy Guarin is still expected start despite missing his intended flight back from South America.
Meanwhile, Juventus will be hoping to at least maintain their nine-point gap at the top as time runs out for the rest of the chasing pack. Prevented from going 50 games unbeaten in November, the Old Lady will be determined to ensure their fierce rivals will not be celebrating this weekend.
A notable absentee for the visitors is Giorgio Chiellini, who may be rested as a precaution before Tuesday's big Champions League clash with Bayern Munich.
Mirko Vucinic may also drop out of the starting XI and be replaced by top goalscorer Fabio Quagliarella, while there are no suspensions for coach Antonio Conte to contend with.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Inter pulled off a shock result in the previous meeting between the two teams in November, winning 3-1 despite going behind to an Arturo Vidal strike inside the first minute, ending Juve's long unbeaten run of 49 games.
- Andrea Stramaccioni's record for his first year in charge of Inter reads: played 54, won 29, drawn 10 and lost 15, giving him a 54% win rate.
- The previous clash between the two teams at San Siro was back in October 2011 with Juventus running out 2-1 winners.
- Juventus have only won one in their last five trips to San Siro. Goals from Mirko Vucinic and Claudio Marchisio were enough to give them the three points that day.
- The Bianconeri could go 12 points clear at the top if they win on Saturday and Napoli lose to Torino.
- Fabio Quagliarella, who is in contention to start on Saturday, has never scored against the Nerazzurri and in 13 appearances against them has won just once.
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Top 3 Predictions
FC Internazionale 0-2 Juventus
- 19.03 %
FC Internazionale 2-1 Juventus
- 15.47 %
FC Internazionale 1-2 Juventus
- 9.93 %
|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 1, 2014||Roma 0 - FC Internazionale 0||ITA1|
|Feb 23, 2014||FC Internazionale 1 - Cagliari 1||ITA1|
|Feb 15, 2014||Fiorentina 1 - FC Internazionale 2||ITA1|
|Feb 9, 2014||FC Internazionale 1 - Sassuolo 0||ITA1|
|Feb 2, 2014||Juventus 3 - FC Internazionale 1||ITA1|
|11||Paolo De Ceglie||Defender|
May have missed his flight back from international duty with Colombia - only a small hurdle for him to overcome - but has been an influential presence for the Nerazzurri and they will need him to be at his best against a formidable Bianconeri midfield.
Will look to drop deep and gain possession before finding the runners from midfield with his expert vision and range of passing. Could take advantage of some dodgy defending which has surfaced in recent matches for the hosts.
The Nerazzurri will be desperate to do the double over fierce rivals and will given a much-needed boost following their emphatic victory over Spurs at San Siro before the international break. Juve, meanwhile, know they are only a few points away from securing a 29th Scudetto and given the hosts' recent problems might just nick this one.
Times In BST
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed