Arguably the season’s most important match takes place on Sunday night when Inter host arch rivals Juventus in the Derby D’Italia. Match on at 20:45 CET.
Inter take their patchy form into this season’s first Derby D’Italia a match that could prove to be pivotal in this title race.
Antonio Conte’s men have showed the world that they are capable of sublime football and extremely lethargic and disinterested play all in the same match.
While Inter have recently relied on second half heroics to take some points off matches, it is unlikely that the Nerazzurri will be afforded the luxury of taking an entire half off if they legitimately want to win the match.
Despite Stefano Sensi being medically cleared to play the match, expect Conte to revert to his preferred midfield trio Marcelo Brozovic, Nicolo Barella and Arturo Vidal.
This unit will be busy trying to boss the match and take control of play. However, expect Inter’s main attacking threat to continue to come from the flanks, namely in the form of Achraf Hakimi.
The Moroccan wide-man has been sensational so far, and if Inter do win this match, it is likely that Haki will have played a part in the potential victory.
Inter will need to get at Juve, stretching the play wide and constantly pressing, the risk in that strategy remains that if Inter’s players no longer have the legs to press and distribute properly, Juventus may then have direct access to the calamitous Samir Handanovic goal.
There is no understanding the relevance and significance of a Derby D’Italia, but this year seems to be the first time in ages where both sides have plenty of comparably goals to fight for.
Inter go into the match in better condition that the champions. With no suspensions and missing only Danilo D’Ambrosio through injury (notwithstanding the perpetually injured Matias Vecino and Andrea Pinamonti) Antonio Conte must be feeling better about his squad options than Andrea Pirlo who has to deal with a squad decimated by injuries.
Probable Inter line-up (3-5-2): Handanovic (C); Bastoni, De Vrij, Skriniar; Young, Barella, Vidal, Brozovic, Hakimi; Lautaro, Lukaku.
Last Season: Inter 1 – 2 Juventus.
Last 10 Head to Head: Juventus hold an almost unassailable lead over their hosts over the past ten encounters with six wins to Inter’s sole victory all the way back in 2016.
Keep An Eye On
Arturo Vidal: The aging midfielder has been the recipient of plenty of criticism since moving to the Nerazzurri. With Vidal having committed plenty of individual errors seemingly arising from the player’s advancing age and declining pace it appears that most of the Inter fan base have lost faith in the player’s ability to positively contribute to the season.
That said, Vidal is a warrior, and having just scored his first goal in black and blue he will be very fired up to face his ex-side.
Will the pressure to perform be too much for him, as was the case when facing Real Madrid in the Champions League, or will Vidal finally manage to keep his emotions in check and make his mark on the match.
Referee: Daniele Doveri.
Assistants: Carbone and Peretti.
Fourth Official: Maresca.
VAR: Calvarese and Alassio.
Prediction & Concluding Remarks
Prediction & scorers: Inter 2 – 1 Juventus with Lukaku and Hakimi scoring.
Inter really needed that midweek victory in the Coppa and in particualr the Lukaku and Vidal goals to set the club back to winning ways. To win this match Inter need the right mentality above all else.
Inter can’t go into the match with the same attitude that they approached last season’s encounters where they practically didn’t manage to threaten the visitors’ goal at all.