Inter will rekindle their great rivalry with Juventus on Friday as they aim to end the undefeated run the Turin giants have made to the Serie A season at the Allianz Stadium.
The Nerazzurri came mighty close to upsetting Juve when the sides last met, back in April, but two goals in the final three minutes swung the game in the favour of Massimiliano Allegri’s outfit, who ran out 3-2 winners.
Inter, who lie third in the standings after 14 matches, trail the leaders by 11 points, with their hosts boasting an almost perfect record, with just a single draw as a blemish.
Toppling the undefeated league leaders would give them a particular sense of satisfaction.
|Game||Juventus vs Inter|
|Date||Friday, December 7|
|Time||7:30pm GMT / 2:30pm ET|
TV Channel, Live Stream & How To Watch
In the United States (US), the game can be watched on ESPN2 or streamed via ESPN Deportes+
|US TV channel||Online stream|
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game can be streamed on Eleven Sports 1.
|UK TV channel||Online stream|
|N/A||Eleven Sports 1|
Squads & Team News
|Goalkeepers||Szczesny, Pinsoglio, Perin|
|Defenders||De Sciglio, Chiellini, Benatia, Bonucci, Cancelo, Rugani|
|Midfielders||Pjanic, Matuidi, Can, Bentancur, Bernardeschi, Spinazzola|
|Forwards||Ronaldo, Dybala, Costa, Cuadrado, Mandzukic|
Juventus are without Alex Sandro and Sami Khedira due to injuries but they are boosted by the return of Emre Can, who makes the bench after not playing for the club since October following thyroid surgery.
Rodrigo Bentancur is preferred to the Germany international in the midfield, though, with the Uruguayan making his eighth consecutive start in Serie A.
Juventus starting XI: Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, De Sciglio; Bentancur, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Ronaldo, Mandzukic
|Goalkeepers||Handanovic, Padelli, Berni|
|Defenders||Vrsaljko, De Vrij, Ranocchia, Miranda, Skriniar, D'Ambrosio|
|Midfielders||Asamoah, Vecino, B. Valero, Perisic, Brozovic, Candreva, Gagliardini, Joao Mario|
|Forwards||Icardi, L. Martinez, Balde, Politano|
Dalbert is missing from the defence with a leg injury, while Radja Nainggolan is also out with an ankle problem.
Mauro Icardi will take up his usual station at the head of the attack, supported primarily by Ivan Perisic.
Inter starting XI: Handanovic; Vrsaljko, Miranda, Skriniar, Asamoah; Gagliardini, Brozovic, Joao Mario; Politano, Icardi, Perisic
Betting & Match Odds
Juventus are 4/7 favourites to win this clash at bet365, while Inter can be backed at 11/2. A draw is priced at 14/5.
Since these sides last met, there is one giant difference: Cristiano Ronaldo.
Inevitably the Portuguese has been the subject of much talk ahead of the encounter, but while Inter boss Luciano Spalletti praised the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for bringing an “important” mentality to the dressing room, he said he has more to worry about than just one player.
“Juventus is not just Ronaldo,” he explained. “There is also GC3, Giorgio Chiellini, a phenomenal player. He is a player of a mentality and an important force. Juve have many like him. It is the collective that can save you.”
Nevertheless, he is not about to sit back and watch the in-form hosts play.
“Being a team for 90 minutes can put Juventus in difficulty. Pressing for 90 minutes and removing the spaces can be the key,” he said.
So far, the closest that anyone has come to disrupting the rhythm of the seven-time defending champions was Genoa, whose 1-1 draw back in October was the first, and so far only, time Juve have failed to win a domestic encounter this season.
Otherwise, they have won their matches with relentless consistency.
Fiorentina were their latest victims, with goals from Rodrigo Bentancur, Giorgio Chiellini and Ronaldo securing a 3-0 away victory.
Inter, meanwhile, approach Friday’s fixture coming off the back of their stickiest period of form of the season. A 3-0 win over Frosinone back on November 24 stands as their only victory in their last four outings, while looming is a vital Champions League clash against PSV that they may well need to win to stand any chance of progress in that competition.
A shock home loss to Manchester United in Group H of that same tournament means that Juve are not done and dusted when it comes to finishing in first, but their progression is assured, allowing them to channel their efforts towards Friday’s fixture before worrying about their trip to Young Boys on Wednesday, despite the words of their coach.