The last two Italian champions face off on Sunday as Inter Milan host Juventus with both sides looking to climb to the top of the table. Inter dethroned Juve as the Serie A bosses last season but a lot has changed for both sides since.
Simone Inzaghi has faced a difficult start to the season with his Inter side in third place, seven points off fierce rivals AC Milan at the top. The Nerazzurri were defeated 3-1 last weekend by Inzaghi’s old side, Lazio, but they bounced back well in midweek against Sheriff in the Champions League.
🔚 | ALL OVER
— Inter 🏆🇮🇹 (@Inter_en) October 19, 2021
Juventus recorded back to back 1-0 wins over the last week – first vs Roma in the Serie A and then away to Zenit St. Petersburg in midweek. The Old Lady had a horror start to the season, being 18th in the league at one point. The returning Massimiliano Allegri has turned the ship around in recent weeks, restoring some solidity to the team.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) October 20, 2021
It is still early days in the season but a loss for either side could spell doom for their title challenge with Inter and Juve already behind the eight ball. Inter could go 10 points behind first place while Juve could go 13 – both sides simply need to win at the San Siro.
Inzaghi has pretty much a full-strength squad to choose from with Stefano Sensi making his return on Tuesday evening. 21-year old goalkeeper Gabriel Brazao and Christian Eriksen are long-term absentees due to an ACL tear and heart condition respectively.
🔄 | SUBS!
85 – Final changes
— Inter 🏆🇮🇹 (@Inter_en) October 19, 2021
Inter Milan Predicted Lineup: Handanovic; Skriniar, de Vrij, Bastoni; Dumfries, Barella, Brozovic, Calhanoglu, Perisic; Martinez, Dzeko
Juventus welcomed back Matthijs de Ligt against Zenit in the Champions League after the Dutch centre-back missed last weekend’s win against Roma. It poses a conundrum for Allegri who now has to choose two from de Ligt, Leo Bonnucci and a rested Giorgio Chiellini given that Juve have played a four at the back system this season so far.
— Matthijs de Ligt (@mdeligt_04) October 20, 2021
Paulo Dybala could make his return from injury after missing the last few matches due to a muscle problem. Adrien Rabiot should be available again after missing two weeks due to Covid.
Juventus Predicted Lineup: Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Bernardeschi, Bentancur, Locatelli; Kulusevski, Morata, Chiesa
Edin Dzeko has started the season in hot form after his move from Roma in the summer. He has scored six goals and assisted a further two in the league to go with his goal and assist on Tuesday in the Champions League. His physicality will be important for Inter up against the stalwart Italian duo of Chiellini and Bonucci.
— Inter 🏆🇮🇹 (@Inter_en) October 20, 2021
His partnership with Lautaro Martinez is yet to flourish the way Lukaku and Martinez’s did but there have been signs of life. The duo will have to be on top of their game if they are to break down an improving Juventus defence.
For Juventus, the turnaround has been triggered by the return of Manuel Locatelli to midfield and the Italian will be key to the Old Lady’s efforts against Inter Milan. The Nerazzurri like to pack the midfield and Locatelli will need to win the battle against compatriot Nicolo Barella to give his side the edge.
◉ 26th Sep: Manuel Locatelli scores his first goal for Juventus
◉ 2nd Oct: Manuel Locatelli scores his second goal for Juventus
Goals in back-to-back Serie A games now for the Italian. ⚽️⚽️ pic.twitter.com/ssq6A9aedX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 2, 2021
Every attack Juventus create goes through Locatelli and his passing range and ball carrying will be integral to the side going forward.
Juventus have been good in recent weeks but Inter have arguably been the better side over the season so far and have a more stable working style of play. Allegri’s side have relied upon a stoic defence but Inter have the quality to break it down. This is likely to be step too far for Juve at this point and FootTheBall predicts Inter Milan 3-1 Juventus.