San Siro, Milan
Saturday 16th May, 2015, 16:00 GMT
Inter Milan and Juventus are set to renew hostile proceedings on Saturday night as the Derby da Italia takes the stage at the Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan. The Nerazzurri enter the match with everything to play for as they continue their late push for a place in the Europa League, while the Bianconeri can be pardoned if they fail to show the same fire as their rivals having already clinched their fourth straight Scudetto after their recent 1-0 victory over Sampdoria. Regardless of the standings, pride and bragging rights are always at stake when these two battle and it should be no different come Saturday.
Juventus enter the match in great spirits after clinching a deserved place in the Champions League final thanks to a 3-2 aggregate victory over Real Madrid, dispatching the defending champions en-route to their first final in 12 years. That result could prove beneficial to the Nerazzurri as recent reports suggest Juve coach Massimiliano Allegri may opt for a squad turnover as the Bianconeri will have to prepare for the Coppa Italia final which has been moved forward to May 20.
Team news and tactics
It has been a largely frustrating campaign for Inter this term, although it could end on a high note if Roberto Mancini’s side continue their recent upturn in form in Serie A. The Nerazzurri had looked set for mid-table mediocrity, but a run of seven games without defeat has moved them to within three points of Fiorentina in fifth and a Europa League spot. Inter began a run of their next four matches coming against top-half teams by beating Lazio 2-1 last weekend, but Juventus could be a different proposition. Some supporters were questioning the decision to bring Roberto Mancini back to San Siro for a second spell as manager back in November, but Inter’s recent form suggests that the former Manchester City boss is beginning to make his mark.
The suspension of Brazilian trequartista Hernanes will mean that winter signing Xherdan Shaqiri will probably be given the nod, something of a rarity as of late. The Swiss international will know that this will be an unmissable opportunity to return to Mancinia s good books and so can be expected to put in a hard working performance. The in-form Matteo Kovacic will probably start ahead of Freddy Guarin whoa s looked a bit out of sorts in the last two matches. Lukas Podolski and Xherdan Shaqiri both had to settle for a place on the bench against Lazio for the second week in a row, so they will be hoping to earn a recall to the starting XI.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-3-1-2):Handanovic(Gk); Da Ambrosio, Ranocchia, Vidic, Juan Jesus; Brozovic, Medel, Kovacic; Shaqiri; Palacio, Icardi
It has been a memorable week for Juventus supporters, with the club enjoying success in Europe and keeping their hopes of landing a historic treble alive. Juve overcame Real Madrid 3-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals of the Champions League on Wednesday evening to set up a clash against Barcelona in the final. Allegri has a full strength squad to choose from, with long term absentees Kwadwo Asamoah and Martin Caceres the only players unavailable. With Wednesdaya s Coppa Italia final looming large as the Bianconeri push for their own Treble, the likes of Alessandro Matri, Romulo and Angelo Ogbonna are set to feature ahead of starters Carlos Tevez, Stephan Lichtsteiner and Leonardo Bonucci in what is expected to be an ample squad turnover.
With the title wrapped up, Allegri will turn his attention to the Coppa Italia final against Lazio on Wednesday along with their Champions League showdown with Barcelona, so he could look to give fringe players the opportunity to impress during the final league games of the season. Following their heroics against Real in midweek, Allegri will more than likely rest a few of his key players. This could mean that Roberto Pereyra, Alessandro Matri and Fernando Llorente are given starts. Paul Pogba, who had been out since March 18 with a thigh problem, started against Real in midweek. The Frenchman played 89 minutes in Spain and thus may be named among the substitutes for this one.
Probable Starting Line-up (4-3-3):Storari(Gk); Romulo, Barzagli, Ogbonna, Padoin; Sturaro, Marchisio, Pereyra; Pepe, Morata, Coman
- This will be the 164th meeting between Inter and Juventus in Serie A: the Old Lady leads by 77 wins to 45.
- The Nerazzurri have won only one of their last nine games against Juve in Serie A, losing five.
- Inter have scored exactly one goal in each of their last four meetings with Juve in the league.
Players to Watch Out For
Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan)
The highly rated Argentinean youngster will come up against his capocannoniere rival and compatriot Carlos Tevez in this match, and the Inter striker will definitely be hoping to add to his seasona s goal tally. With Icardi having scored in 5 of his 6 matches against Juve, the former Sampdoria man will look to add to that record.
Alvaro Morata (Juventus)
Alvaro Morata scored the decisive goal to secure a 1-1 draw at Santiago Bernabeu and send the Italian champions through to their first final since 2003. He will be looking to get on the scoresheet again tonight.
Inter Milan 3a 1 Juventus
Inter overcame Lazio in a very controversial encounter on Sunday, but in doing so they extended their current unbeaten streak this season to 7 games. Juventus are champions of Italy, have just gained a place in the Champions League final and will contest the Coppa Italia final four days after travelling to the San Siro. It is not in Juventus’ nature to settle down and make do with what they have achieved so far, so the fans would love to halt their old rivals Inter in their chase for a European spot. However, this is as good a time as any for the Bianconeri to gain some rest and avoid taking useless risks, which means they are unlikely to line up with their strongest XI. Their resistance to Inter’s good form will be based on pride and from the substitutes bench that will play at the San Siro, but the Nerazzurri look very well-equipped to secure a top-6 finish.
Blast From the Past
Juventus earned a 1-1 draw on their last visit to San Siro in 2013 with Icardi and Vidal getting the goals.