Juventus travel to the San Siro to take on defending champions Inter Milan in the first Derby d’Italia of the season on Sunday night.
Defending champions Inter Milan will welcome the team they dethroned, Juventus, to the San Siro in a game that could prove either side’s title credentials this season.
Both teams are coming off the back of impressive wins in the Champions League midweek and will be keen to keep their good run going. Inter suffered their first loss of the season in the league last week against Lazio, handing them a blow in the title race.
Juventus meanwhile have won their last four games as they continue to rise up the table. The Old Lady go into the week, ten points off the top of the table but a win on Sunday will have other sides sit up and take notice.
Last weekend’s loss to Lazio was a bitter pill for Inter to swallow. The defending champions have lost some key pieces of their squad in the summer and it showed. With a fully fit squad now at his disposal, the onus is now on Simone Inzaghi to turn around his side’s fortunes.
In Juventus, he has the best team available to make just the statement. The Turin giants, despite falling off the top, continue to be regarded as among the best teams in the land. Putting them over would hint that the loss to Lazio was just a blip in Inter’s efforts to retain the title.
Both Inzaghi and Massimilano Allegri are shrewd tacticians who are well capable of changing their formations on the fly. Fans on the night could be in for a technical tug of war between two of the bright managers in Serie A.
We at The Hard Tackle take a look at how both sides will line up on the day and what tactics we can expect them to employ.
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L'allenamento della squadra in vista di #InterJuve 💪⚫🔵
— Inter 🏆🇮🇹 (@Inter) October 21, 2021
The Italian champions will be glad to get back to home comforts following their reveal in Rome last week. Having beaten a rather curious Sheriff side will have taken the sting off and acted as a confidence booster for the Nerazzurri.
With them having ceded initiative in the title race, anything short of three points could see Napoli and AC Milan pull away. Defeating a defensively disciplined Juventus side won’t be easy. But with a fully fit squad at his disposal, Inzaghi has a number of options he can make use of against Allegri’s men. He looks set to go ahead with a 3-5-2 formation that has looked magnificent on more occasions than one.
The wingbacks drop back to form a back five when defending. This will give Inter more men on the flanks to outnumber and silence Federico Chiesa, Federico Bernardeschi and Dejan Kulusevski.
Samir Handanovic is sure to start in goal while back three of Alessandro Bastoni, Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar will look to keep the opposition shut. Ivan Perisic looks set to resume his usual role at left-wingback with Matteo Darmian occupying the other wing. The Italian star is defensively a better alternative to Denzel Dumfries who impressed against Sheriff. Given Juventus’s strength out wide, the experience offered by Darmian could make the difference on the night.
Marcelo Brozovic looks set to keep his position at the heart of the midfield. His presence could pave the way for the other central midfielders such as Hakan Calhanoglu and Nicolo Barella to focus on attack.
It is however in the frontline where Inter’s strength lies. Despite losing Romelu Lukaku, the Nerazzurri continue to lead the league’s scoring charts this season with 23 strikes. Both Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez will once again be called upon to take their chances against the Juventus defence.
Probable Lineup (3-5-2): Handanovic; Bastoni, de Vrij, Skriniar; Perisic, Calhanoglu, Brozovic, Barella; Dzeko, Martinez
Unlike the home side, Allegri will have a few decisions to make. Paulo Dybala missed the midweek trip to Russia but is now back in training while French international Adrien Rabiot however misses out.
Dutch youngster Matthijs de Ligt put up a good performance against Zenit St Petersburg. Whether he will keep his position alongside Giorgio Chiellini or make way for Leonardo Bonucci remains to be seen.
Allegri could go with a 4-4-2 system that will offer him flexibility over the course of the game. Wojciech Szczesny is sure to start in goal and will be protected by a back four of Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci and Mattia Di Sciglio.
📝🇮🇹 𝗗𝗲𝗿𝗯𝘆 𝗱'𝗜𝘁𝗮𝗹𝗶𝗮 𝗦𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗱 𝗟𝗶𝘀𝘁 ⚪️⚫️
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 23, 2021
Federico Bernardeschi was poor midweek and could be replaced in the starting eleven by the impressive Dejan Kulusevski. Another option Allegri can pursue is to start the former and bring on the latter once Inter begins to tire.
The dependable Rodrigo Bentancur and Manuel Locatelli will hold the fort in midfield with Kulusevski and Juan Cuadrado providing the width. Federico Chiesa meanwhile could be set to start up front alongside Alvaro Morata.
Kulusevski has experience of playing in central midfield while Chiesa can play anywhere along the frontline. This versatility in attack offers Allegri more options should he want to shake things up.
Probable Lineup (4-4-2): Szczesny; Sandro, Chiellini, Bonucci, Di Sciglio; Kulusevski, Locatelli, Bentancur, Cuadrado; Chiesa, Morata
- Inter Milan are undefeated in their last 20 Serie A games.
- Juventus meanwhile are undefeated in 11 of their last 12 games against Inter Milan.
- Both teams have faced off 36 times with Juventus winning 18 and losing just 10.
- Both Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez have scored 11 goals total in Serie A ad are among the top five scorers in the league this season. Dybala and Morata lead Juventus’s scoring charts with three goals each.
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The Italian international impressed against Zenit but was unable to find the back of the net. He will once again be called upon to be the major creator in chief against Inter Milan.
His ability to link up with the teammates and also play anywhere along the frontline could prove pivotal on the night. In a tame that could see both teams cancel out each other, the 24-year-old’s magic could make the difference on the night.
Inter Milan 1-1 Juventus
With the season still young, both sides could adopt a safety-first approach. Juventus have been cagey at the back of late and Inter too could spot a similar approach to avoid showing off their weakness in transition.
It is entirely possible that the game could be settled by a single moment of magic. While a point will help neither side in their title aspirations, it could very well prove to be the norm on the night.