Preview: Juventus vs Inter

Preview: Juventus vs Inter
February 27, 2016 11:14
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Juve vs Inter

 

This Sunday 28 February 2016, Inter travel to the Juventus Stadium to face league leaders Juventus (kick off 20:45CET), in a Derby d’Italia clash that the Nerazzurri must win if they are to keep pace in the race for Champions League qualification.

Inter come into this game on the back of a 3-1 win against Sampdoria at the San Siro which was only the Nerazzurri’s third win in their last 10 league matches.

Inter started slowly, as seems the norm with the Nerazzurri this season, with Sampdoria dominating the first 20 minutes before a goal against the run-of-play from D’Ambrosio gave Inter a half-time lead. The second half was much like the first with the Blucherchiati dominating possession before another goal against the run-of-play from Miranda.

Inter had Samp where they wanted them and were happy to dig-in and play on the counter resulting in Icardi taking advantage of a Ranocchia mistake on the half-way line to run half the pitch and slot home with the help of the post. It wasn’t all positive for the Nerazzurri however with Quagliarella scoring an injury-time consolation goal which has took Inter’s tally of goals conceded in the last five minutes of matches this season to five.

It may have seemed a harsh result on Samp, who ended the game with more possession and a lot more shots on goal, however, at the end of the day if you don’t make your chances count then you can’t win and quite simply Inter took their chances.

The result sees Inter keep their place in fifth, two points behind Roma(4th) and four points behind Fiorentina(3rd) who both won their respective fixtures last weekend.

Juventus come into this match after falling short of Inter’s Serie A record for consecutive wins (17), in a 0-0 stalemate against Bologna last weekend. Juventus had won 15 matches in a row but Bologna proved a tough nut to crack at the Stadio Dall’Ara where Juve had 10 shots but not one on target, something that hadn’t happened in four years, however, the Bianconeri got a break with Napoli failing to take their chance to overtake La Vecchia Signora after drawing 1-1 against Milan on Monday night.

Juventus were also in action in midweek in the Champions League round of 16 when they took on Bayern Munich in the first leg in Turin. Max Allegri got his game-plan wrong and chose to play defensively and on the counter-attack with the Germans taking advantage to score two away goals before Juve came out of their shell in the last 30 minutes, taking the game to Bayern and managing to pull two goals back.

Juventus continue to lead Serie A by a point ahead of Napoli and despite Roma, Fiorentina and Inter picking up wins last weekend, the Bianconeri are still a massive 10 points ahead of the Nerazzurri.

Here is the Inter team news an probable line-up as reported by La Gazzetta dello Sport at the time of writing this article:

Roberto Mancini is expected to keep faith with the same 4-4-2 formation that won last time out against Sampdoria and the same defence with Samir Handanovic in goal, Danilo D’Ambrosio at right back and the central defensive partnership of Joao Miranda and Jeison Murillo with Yuto Nagatomo at left back.

In central midfield Gary Medel is expected to start after returning from suspension along with Geoffrey Kondogbia, whose two match ban was overturned after an appeal. Felipe Melo is expected to drop to the bench and Marcelo Brozovic will be suspended for this game.

On the wings Jonathan Biabiany is expected to start on the right after a great performance against Sampdoria along with Ivan Perisic on the left. Adem Ljajic and Stevan Jovetic are expected to be on the bench.

Up top captain Mauro Icardi starts along with Eder, who is favoured over Rodrigo Palacio.

Probable Inter line-up (subject to change): (4-4-2) Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Miranda, Murillo, Nagatomo; Biabiany, Medel, Kondogbia, Perisic; Icardi(c), Eder

Bench: Carrizo, Berni, Santon, Jesus, Gnoukouri, Melo, Palacio, Ljajic, Jovetic, Manaj

Some Stats:

Last season’s corresponding fixture in Turin between the sides on January 6 2015 finished in a 1-1 draw with goals from Tevez and Icardi.

Inter’s last victory against Juventus came in Turin on November 3 2012 in a 1-3 win with Palacio and Milito x2 wiping out an early goal from Vidal.

Since that win there have been six league meetings between the teams with three Juve wins and three draws.

Unfortunately Gianluca Rocchi will be referee for the game and when looking at his stats this will be a big advantage for Juventus. The 42 year old has took charge of 28 Juventus matches with the stats showing that the Bianconeri have won 22 of those games with three draws and three losses. When Rocchi has refereed Inter, the stats read 12 wins, four draws and 10 losses in 26 matches.

Player to Watch: Mauro Icardi – Inter’s top scorer this season with 11 goals. The Argentine has six goals and an assist in seven matches against Juventus.

My Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Inter

Scorers: Cuadrado, Dybala (Juve), Icardi (Inter)

Officials: Referee: Gianluca Rocchi     Assistants: Manganelli, Padovan

Fourth Official: Giallatini     Additional Assistants: Banti, Rizzoli

 

Author’s Note: I think Juventus will be too strong for Inter and I fear that Mancini could play on the counter again as he did last weekend against Samp. The problem is Samp had 19 shots against Inter and they aren’t a great team so imagine how many shots Juventus will have if Inter start with the same game-plan. I hope we try to take the game to the Bianconeri and give it a go instead of hoping for a draw. The pressure is on and with four of the top five facing each other this weekend, the big winners could be Roma who face Empoli. This is a possible season defining game for Inter and should they lose the season will be in tatters. We can only hope that Inter beat all the factors against them in this game to keep up the fight for Champions League football.

Forza Inter!

By Editorial Staff
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