Juventus vs Inter Preview
Juventus face Inter in the Derby d’Italia at the Allianz stadium on Friday night.
The Turin giants have been in imperious form this season and have dropped just two points in 14 Serie A games.
If the Bianconeri win on Friday, they will have amassed 43 points from their first 15 league games. This would match the tally set by PSG last week for most points to start a season in the top five European leagues in the three point era.
For Inter, this is a must win game to keep alive their hopes of winning the Scudetto.
They are currently 11 points behind Juventus and a defeat on Friday would surely signal the end of their title chances.
After a slow start to the season, the Nerazzuri won seven Serie A games in a row. However, their title charge has stalled over the last few games.
Inter have picked up just four points from their last three league encounters.
Juventus left-back Alex Sandro is a serious doubt after missing last week’s trip to Florence.
Midfielder Emre Can should return to the squad for the first time since early October.
However, defender Andrea Barzagli will be missing after being ruled out with a thigh injury and won’t return till 2019.
For Inter, Croatian full-back Sime Vrsaljko is available again, though there are doubts over midfielder Radja Nainggolan’s fitness.
Matias Vecino and Matteo Politano are likely to be restored to the starting line-up after taking a place on the bench against Roma on Sunday.
Defender Kwadwo Asamoah will return to Turin for the first time since his move to Inter in the summer.
The last meeting in Turin between both sides finished goalless last December.
In the last 13 meetings, Juventus have won seven, while Inter have won just two.
The last three meetings in Turin have all been tight affairs with just three goals scored, all by the home side.
Inter last hit the net at the Allianz Stadium back in 2015 and haven’t won in Turin since November 2012.
Juventus (4-3-3): Szczesny; De Sciglio, Bonucci, Chiellini, Cancelo; Bentancur, Pjanic Matuidi; Ronaldo, Mandzukic, Dybala
Inter (4-3-3): Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, De Vrij, Asamoah; Joao Mario, Brozovic, Vecino; Perisic, Icardi, Politano
Juventus have been simply untouchable this season in Serie A and already look to have the Scudetto in the bag.
They have an added incentive and know a victory over Inter will surely knock the Nerazzurri out of the title race.
The defending champions biggest strength this season has been defensively and they have conceded just eight goals in Serie A.
In their last four games in all competitions they haven’t conceded a goal.
Meanwhile, Inter will be hoping to shore up a leaky away defence and have conceded six goals in their last two Serie A away games.
Luciano Spalletti’s men know this is a must win, if they are to have any chance of winning the Scudetto.
However, given their recent record in Turin and Juventus’ imperious form, that will be a tough ask.
It will take Inter’s best performance of the season to get a positive result. If they do it could just ignite their title challenge once again.
Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Inter
Photo credit to Dickson Dagogo via Flickr