The Allianz Stadium forms the backdrop for this edition of the Derby d’Italia as Juventus and Inter Milan lock horns in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi-final on Tuesday night.
Massimiliano Allegri’s side head into the crunch clash looking to extend their impressive winning run, having recorded five consecutive victories in all competitions.
Inter continue to falter at every turn, having picked up just one win from their last six outings across all competitions.
Both sides have already met twice in the league, with Juventus getting the better of their Italian counterparts on both occasions.
Inter will be keen to set the record straight, especially with a shot at silverware up for grabs, which could prove the silver lining in an otherwise abysmal campaign.
Despite a 15-point deduction for financial indiscretion, Juventus have become a force to be reckoned with, setting aside their off-the-pitch fiasco to ensure they finish a troubled campaign with a bang.
Allegri’s side edged closer to a Champions League place with a slender 1-0 win over relegation-battling Hellas Verona in their last outing, thanks to Moise Kean’s second-half strike.
Saturday’s success saw them extend their Serie A winning streak to three games while closing the gap on fourth-placed Inter to six points, forcing their way into the mix for a top-four finish.
The Bianconeri’s imperious run of form have also seen them win 11 of their last 13 games in all competitions (D1, L1), and their once bleak hopes of finishing in European places now look like a strong possibility.
Slender wins over AC Monza and Lazio in previous rounds saw them earn a place in the semi-finals, where they now face Inter, who were victorious when both sides met in the Coppa Italia final last season.
Tuesday’s clash presents the Old Lady with a golden opportunity to enact their vengeance and book a place at Stadio Olimpico where they could face one of Fiorentina or Cremonese.
Their resurgence, coupled with Inter’s recent poor run of form, should give Allegri’s side the edge in the encounter, which could prove to be make-or-break for the under-fire Simone Inzaghi.
Inter were expected to compete for the Scudetto. However, they are on the verge of missing out on a place in next season’s Champions League, having lost ten league games with ten remaining, leaving Inzaghi’s future hanging in the balance.
A third defeat to the Bianconeri could serve the Italian’s head on a silver platter to the Inter bosses, who have already drawn up a four-man shortlist to replace the former Lazio boss.
Facing the axe should propel Inzaghi and his side to rally toward a victory in the midweek encounter, but one win in their last six games across all competitions spells trouble for their chances.
Saturday’s slender 1-0 defeat to Fiorentina saw Inter lose three Serie A games on the trot for the first time in six years, so the importance of coming away with a positive result on Tuesday night is not lost on the Nerazzurri.
Inter still have all to play for to salvage a mediocre campaign, and April could prove crucial, as a victory against Juventus would put them one step closer to the cup final.
While needing extra time to get past Parma, Matteo Darmian’s second-half strike was enough to see off the free-scoring Atalanta and secure a place in the Coppa Italia last four.
Inzaghi’s side will back themselves to raise their game for the big occasion as they look to thwart the Bianconeri for the first time this season.
Coppa Italia Form
Juventus – WW
Inter Milan – WW
Allegri has no fresh injury concerns heading into the game, with only Paul Pogba guaranteed to miss the clash after struggling to shake off recurring injury problems.
Federico Chiesa’s fitness is touch and go at the moment, and will need to be assessed ahead of the game, having also suffered his share of injury niggles.
Midfield duo Adrien Rabiot and Leandro Paredes are both back from suspension, but only the former should feature against Inter.
Inter defender Milan Skriniar is still sidelined by a back problem. But Hakan Calhanoglu could return to action at the Allianz Stadium after recovering from a muscular injury.
Federico Dimarco was unavailable at the weekend after picking up a knock on international duty, so Robin Gosens should keep his place on the left flank.
Edin Dzeko and Lautaro Martinez could return to lead the line, with Romelu Lukaku and Joaquin Correa’s partnership failing spectacularly in Saturday’s defeat.
Juventus potential starting line-up:
(3-5-1-1): Wojciech Szczesny; Danilo, Gleison Bremer, Federico Gatti; Mattia De Sciglio, Fabio Miretti, Manuel Locatelli, Adrien Rabiot, Filip Kostic; Angel Di Maria; Dusan Vlahovic.
Inter Milan potential starting line-up:
(3-5-2): Andre Onana; Matteo Darmian, Francesco Acerbi, Alessandro Bastoni; Denzel Dumfries, Nicolo Barella, Marcelo Brozovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Robin Gosens; Lautaro Martinez, Edin Dzeko.
We Say: Juventus 1-0 Inter Milan
The Derby d’Italia is not famous for delivering goals, but a highly intense end-to-end encounter in Turin should be the case.
Often a highly volatile contest, it would not be surprising to see one or two players shown a red card, as evident in the most recent edition, where both teams had a man sent off following a heated brawl late in the game.
While form tends to go out the window in games such as these, Juventus should prove the superior side on the night, scaling to a narrow win to set up a frantic return fixture at San Siro Stadium.
- Leicester City 2022/23 season review: Ominous campaign ends in despair for Foxes
- Romelu Lukaku wants Inter Milan stay, can Chelsea get a fee for him?
- Three strikers to replace Karim Benzema at Real Madrid
- Newcastle set to open talks with Callum Wilson over new deal
- Everton 2022/23 season review: Relief at Goodison Park as Toffees stay up