A month after the Coppa Italia derby that ended in Juventus’ favour, great rivals meet again as the Old Lady welcomes Inter in the heavyweight clash of the Serie A round 27 on Sunday.
Juventus await the third Derby d’Italia of the season on the back of the two consecutive draws in two different competitions which saw Juventus’ incredible run snap after two months of winnings. Goalless Serie A stalemate with Bologna last weekend was followed by the exhilarating 2-2 draw against Bayern Munich in the Champions League knockouts during the week. The Italian champions came back from the dead to earn a huge result against the Bavarians. Pep Guardiola’s men were a dominant force, but have ultimately failed to materialise their on-pitch supremacy against tight and organized defence. Allegri’s timely substitutions made all the difference in the world allowing Juventus to score two goals within 30 minutes through Dybala and Sturaro for a morale-boosting result. Bianconerri will be hoping to repeat the similar scenario from their last meeting with Inter when they ran over Nerazzurri 3-0 with a brace from Alvaro Morata and another one courtesy of Paulo Dybala. The Argnetine striker has been in sublime form this season with his 13 goals and 8 assists. It will be an emotional affair for the young talent who has revealed that he turned down the chance to join Inter last summer in favour of a move to Juventus.
Juventus will be boosted by the returns of Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro, who will both be available for the Sunday showdown. Claudio Marchisio remains the only doubt and he will be replaced by Hernanes.
Can Inter kick start their campaign?
Nerazzurri are heading into the match with Juventus on the back of the information that Eric Thohir as the current President and majority shareholder is looking to sell a part of his 70% shares. The club were quick to deny such claims, but they come as another proof of poor atmosphere that has been built in the camp this season. Having started the current campaign pretty strong, Inter went from being title contenders to being afraid for their European prospects. Nerazzurri are sitting in fifth place in the Serie A standings, two points shy of the fourth-placed AS Roma. With Champions League in sight, Inter will need to beat Juventus if they are to keep pace with the top four. It will not be easy as Roberto Mancini’s men have recorded only two Serie A wins in their last eight league games. Having been beaten by Juventus 3-0 in the Coppa Italia match a month ago, Inter will be disappointed to learn that they last defeated the Old Lady back in 2012, which gives them little reason to feel optimistic ahead of the Sunday showdown. However, Inter did manage to return to winning ways last weekend with the 3-1 triumph over Sampdoria. D’Ambrosio, Miranda and Icardi fired three goals for a comfortable win, which will have been a timely boost. Club’s captain Mauro Icardi has pledged his allegiance to Nerazzurri ahead of Juventus visit and Mancini will be hoping that his key man steps up to the occasion and lead his team to victory.
Roberto Mancini has no injury problems, but he will have to do without Kondogbia, Miranda, Murillo and Brozovic who are all suspended for the occasion.
Inter are heading into the match as underdogs, aware of Juventus’ strength and determination to continue their title push. The Old Lady need to win in order to guard off their leading position and I am inclined to back them in their efforts.
Top pick: Home win 1.6 (6/10) WilliamHill
Alternative pick 1: Juventus to win to nil 2.38 (11/8) @BetVictor
Atlernative pick 2: Both teams to score – No 1.7 (7/10) @888sport