Derby d'Italia Debate: Key Personal Battles Between Inter And Juventus

It's a clash between two of the biggest teams in Italy on Friday night and's Subhankar Mondal looks at the key individual duels...

Maicon's form this season hasn't been great but he stills remains arguably the most balanced right-back in the world. The 28-year-old's running up and down the flank from the deep has been crucial to Inter's build-up play from the back and with Juventus' fullbacks, especially Fabio Grosso, inspiring no confidence whatsoever, the Brazilian international will be keen to bulldoze his way along the right.

However, Claudio Marchisio will be a thorn in his step. The Italian international midfielder should start on the left side of the midfield for Juventus and he will be keen to punctuate the runs of Maicon. Marchisio hasn't been in exactly the best of form this season but he has looked good and useful in several matches and will be eager to carry on with his progress. The 24-year-old will be looking to making runs of his own and this will negate, or at least attempt to negate, the advances of Maicon.


Lucio has been a rock at the heart of the Inter defence this campaign and he will be a tough proposition to overhaul for any Juventus player. His reading of the game, keen understanding and timely tackles and interventions will be crucial in frustrating the Bianconeri attacking players.

However, the 35-year-old Del Piero is one of the most gifted players of his era and although this season hasn't been very fruitful, the former Padova player is still capable of conjuring up some tricks that could easily unlock the Inter defence. Del Piero has scored seven goals in 18 league appearances this campaign.


Esteban Cambiasso has been a major player for Inter in each of their last three Scudetto triumphs and the Argentine international central midfielder has been quite good this time around too. Cambiasso is a defensive-minded midfielder, who although not the most ferocious of tacklers, is indeed a very good channel through which the ball can pass from the midfield to the attack. The 29-year-old is likely to start alongside Thiago Motta in central midfield and the double-pivot system will help in negating the creativity of the Juventus midfield.

Diego will be entrusted with the task of creating chances for the Juventus front-two. The Brazilian trequartista has miserably failed for large parts of the season but he still remains a genius whose one trick could unlock the entire opposition's defence. Diego isn't lightning-fast but playing just behind the front two, the 25-year-old will be looking to create chances and provide through balls.


Wesley Sneijder has been crucial in Inter's season so far and he will again be the creator-in-chief from the midfield. The former Real Madrid man will start behind Diego Milito and will be looking to exploit the lack of pace of the Juventus midfield and defence. Sneijder's freekick skills will also be important and so will be his pace and quick changing of positions.

Momo Sissoko has been one of the few Juventus players in recent weeks who have performed reasonably well and he will expect a tough match on Friday night. Sissoko has shored up the midfield in the last few games quite admirably and he will be looking to keep Sneijder under check.


Milito is one of the most clinical strikers in the world and has already notched up 19 goals in 30 league appearances in his first season for Inter. The Argentine is a very nippy player and very difficult to mark. The 30-year-old can hold the ball upfront, create space for himself, bring his fellow defenders into play and shoot with accuracy. Milito will also try to use his pace and intelligence against a Juventus central defence that includes the 36-year-old Fabio Cannavaro.

However, Juventus also have Giorgio Chiellini in central defence and it will be the Italian international who will be asked to control Milito and his movements in and around the 18-yard box. Chiellini has been arguably Juventus's best and most consistent player this year and he will again have to lead the Bianconeri backline. It will be very interesting to see who between Milito and Chiellini wins the duel on Friday night.

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