Sunday the 6th of October, 2019. A date that has been marked in the calendars of every Interisti and Juventini for quite a while now. The Derby D’Italia is a hotly fought contest, where arch rivals go head to head and leave absolutely nothing on the pitch at the end of the 90 minutes.
Inter head into this match still unbeaten, winning all 6 of their matches, and sit at the top of the table, 2 points clear of second place rivals Juve, who are also unbeaten, with 5 wins and one draw. This match could prove to be decisive on who goes on the win the Serie A this season, and you could bet that it will be exciting to watch.
Antonio Conte’s side are still improving after each game, and look stronger and stronger. Expect Inter to line up in a 3-5-2 formation, as has been the standard this year, and press Juve high up the pitch and look the switch the play and stretch Juve’s defense regularly.
Maurizio Sarri, meanwhile, is in a similar position to his Inter counterpart, still working on getting the best out of his players in his preferred system. Juve typically line up in a 4-3-1-2 or 4-3-3 and I would expect them to do the same on Sunday, and focus the majority of their play through the middle of the pitch and overload the midfield.
Inter have looked good offensively this season. They create a lot of chances, look to work the ball into the box and play plenty of crosses from their wing backs. Inter are averaging 2.17 goals a game this season, and have scored 13 in total, and average an xG of 1.69 per game. Inter are also keeping a hold of the ball well in the build up play, averaging 57% possession and 560 passes per game, with an accuracy of 89%. Conte likes his side to press high up the pitch and break quickly to catch his opponents off guard and exploit any weaknesses out wide.
As mentioned before, Juve are also having a good start to their season, and keep managing to find ways to win matches no matter what. They are averaging 1.83 goals per game, 11 in total and an xG of 1.67. You could argue the point that this could be better by Juve’s standards, especially when you consider that Sarri likes to play free flowing, attacking football.
Possession wise, Juve are very similar to inter in this regard, averaging 56% and 535 passes per game, 88% accuracy. Sarri would undoubtedly be asking for more from his players as they continue to develop and become more familiar with his system.
Defensively, Inter have been almost perfect. In the 6 games played so far, they have conceded 2 goals and an xG of 0.8. This is typical of any Conte side, with his back 3 being key players and are always well drilled in what they need to do and where to be at any given moment. There is not much else to say about Inter’s defense and I would expect another strong showing again. The addition of Diego Godin is proving to be massive, and Alessandro Bastoni proved last time out in Sampdoria that he can step in whenever necessary.
Juve’s defence, by contrast has been uncharacteristically leaky so far, and this is in no small part down to the injury Giorgio Chiellini suffered early in the season. Couple this with Matthijs De Ligt’s shaky start to his Serie A career and you will find they have conceded 5 goals, 3 of which came against Napoli, and an xG of 1.16. This shows that Juve’s defense is not at impenetrable as they were in recent years.
All things considered, expect an open game, with both sides creating a lot of chances and the winner will inevitably come down to who can take their chances better. As with any Derby D’Italia, this will be a fiery encounter, with Antonio Conte coming up against his old side, who he has a rich past with but now finds himself on the other side of the trenches. It is safe to say that you cannot predict an outcome for this match, where the result could easily go either way.
Romelu Lukaku sat out of Inter’s Champions League clash with Barcelona on Wednesday as a precaution for a small muscle injury, and is fully expected to start the match on Sunday against Juventus. He is definitely one to keep a close eye on this match as this is Inter’s biggest test so far this season and will determine whether or not they can challenge for the Scudetto, and a lot will depend on if Lukaku can step up in big matches like this one. Romelu has unfortunately gained the tag of shying away against the big clubs, and it will be interesting to see if he can shake this off and insert himself as a true Nerazzuri idol.
When you are picking what players to watch out for with Juventus, how can you look any further than Cristiano Ronaldo? He is arguably one of the greatest players in the game, still in great form, and always works hard for his side. Ronaldo has scored 3 goals in 5 matches so far this season and is a favorite to win the cappocanoniere. Inter will need to keep a very close eye on him, and minimize the chances he gets on the ball if they are to hope for any positive result.