Serie A: Juventus v Inter - match preview, predicted starting line-ups & Opta stats

05 February at 10:40
The Derby d’Italia needs no introduction in Italy and now given that both teams are currently flying high, the entire football world will be tuning in to this mouth-watering affair.This game is a throwback to a different era, when both Juventus and Inter were powerhouses of world football. Recently however, Juventus have been the dominant club domestically with Inter descending into turmoil, but not anymore; seven consecutive Serie A wins has got their fans dreaming once again. 
 
The Nerazzurri will be chasing there 8th Serie A win in a row, scoring 15 goals and conceding only two in the process, whilst the Bianconeri have racked up 3 wins on the spin playing some devastating football in the process. Since their defeat to Fiorentina in week 20, Juve have switched to an attacking 4-2-3-1 system expertly led up front by in-form striker Gonzalo Higuain. 

 
Cuadrado, Dybala and Mandzukic and are expected to once again fill the attacking positions behind the Argentine, with Khedira and Pjanic in the midfield roles. In an interesting sub plot, Higuain will be going head to head with his compatriot Mauro Icardi; both men currently have 15 goals this campaign as they bid for the Capocannoniere title.
 
The Nerazzurri frontman has a magical record against Juventus with seven goals in eight appearances against them and after failing to get on the scoresheet in his last two games; Icardi will be hungrier than ever to get back on the scoresheet.

 
Stefano Pioli will likely stick to his 4-2-3-1 formation after resting some players for the midweek Coppa Italia defeat to Lazio. He should also have a virtually full fit squad to choose from.
 
 Since arriving in January, Roberto Gagliardini has been superb and he is expected to slot back into the midfield alongside Marcelo Brozovic. Further up the park, Inter fans will be hoping its Joao Mario who gets a start after some great performances recently. The wide roles pretty much take care of themselves with Perisic and Candreva excelling since the turn of the year. Along with Icardi, its these two who are expected to cause Bianconeri boss Massimo Allegri the biggest headache. 
 
The Inter defence will likely remain the same with Cristian Ansladi returning from suspension to come in at left-back following missing out on the Pescara game. 
 
Final word: 
Inter need the three points more than Juventus to continue their quest for Champions League football next season this motivation, plus goals from Icardi could ensure an upset at the J Stadium this evening.
 
Probable starting line-ups:
 
Juventus: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic; Cuadrado, Dybala, Mandzukic; Higuain
Inter: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Murillo, Miranda, Ansaldi; Gagliardini, Brozovic; Candreva, Joao Mario, Perisic; Icardi

 

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