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Juventus keeper Buffon to miss derby against Inter

3:20 PM GMT 08/12/2017
GianluigiBuffon - cropped
Wojciech Szczesny will likely start against Luciano Spalletti's side with his veteran team-mate struggling with a calf injury

Juventus expect to line up without Gianluigi Buffon when they face Inter in the Derby d'Italia on Saturday, Massimiliano Allegri has revealed.

Veteran goalkeeper Buffon - fourth in the Ballon d'Or vote on Thursday - missed the Champions League clash with Olympiacos on Tuesday due to a calf issue and is unlikely to be available when Juve take on the Serie A leaders.

Wojciech Szczesny filled in for the 39-year-old in Piraeus and looks set to retain his place for the clash at Allianz Stadium.

"I need to make a final decision on my team and formation for the match. Buffon is unlikely to feature. We need to make a call on his availability later today," said Allegri at a pre-match news conference.

While Giorgio Chiellini is expected to return, Allegri still has concerns for the fitness of key players, including Miralem Pjanic, Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala.

"A few of our players are not quite in peak condition – Pjanic and Dybala, for example," he said. "Looking ahead, we'll have more time to strengthen the players' condition.

"Mandzukic has not been able to train for a few days, hence why he's not been playing of late. He's been working hard and getting back to full fitness again."

Juve trail Inter by two points in Serie A, with Napoli between the two clubs in second and Roma and Lazio also in contention for a title challenge.

Consequently, Allegri knows the Bianconeri need to find another gear if they are to clinch a seventh successive Scudetto.

He said: "Winning against Napoli was a step in the right direction. This match is also of the utmost importance. We're taking on the league leaders.

"This season the head-to-heads will make the difference.

"Our main Scudetto rivals have upped their games this season and we need to do the same in order to win the Scudetto this season.

"This match may not decide who wins the title, but Juve and Inter are two teams that will fight for the title until the very end of the season."