WINDHOEK, 21 OCT – The ‘Derby d’Italia’, or derby of Italy, between Internazionale and Juventus, is a meeting of two of Italy’s traditional powerhouse clubs and also the last two Serie A title winners, with the Nerazzurri having dethroned the Bianconeri last term.
For the big clash at the San Siro, Juve manager Massimiliano Allegri is hoping to see his side improve a particular aspect of their play after recovering from their poor start to the 2021-22 season: “We need to improve the dribble. At the beginning we lost too many balls on the diagonals where the centre forward had to be the director of the team,” explained the veteran tactician. “When you play with a team to man, the more you move the more you take away from him.”
Inter boss Simone Inzaghi, meanwhile, has called on his team to be at their peak to meet the challenge offered by Juventus: “It will not be a simple game. They play very good football and have excellent individual quality. We will need the best Inter to get a result,” said Inzaghi, who added: “We are in a good place, but we can still improve.”
Lautaro Martinez – The Argentine striker has become Inter’s main man in attack after the departure of Romelu Lukaku, and he has stepped up to the challenge in impressive style. Martinez’s aggression and directness will set the tone for the Nerazzurri’s play.
Federico Chiesa – Juve’s star winger/attacking midfielder has the verve and charisma to become a generation-defining player in the black and white, but if he is to begin a great legacy then he must lead the Turin club to victories in major games such as this one.
In head-to-head stats, Inter and Juve have met in 241 official matches since 1909. The Bianconeri have 110 wins compared to 72 for the Nerazzurri, while 59 games have been drawn.
The teams met four times last season, with Inter winning the first Serie A clash 2-0 at home, before Juve secured a 2-1 aggregate win across two legs of a Coppa Italia tie, and then claimed a 3-2 home triumph in the second league clash, played in May of this year.
Simone Inzaghi v Massimiliano Allegri – Inzaghi v Allegri has something of the ‘apprentice v master’ about it, but Inter’s boss will be hoping to outsmart his highly regarded counterpart and guide his team to a key home victory.
Edin Dzeko v Giorgio Chiellini – Dzeko has done a great job in filling the boots of Lukaku and providing an attacking focal point, but he’ll come up against a canny and cynical opponent in Chiellini, who will look to delve into the ‘dark arts’ of defending.
Nicolo Barella v Manuel Locatelli – Two of Italy’s best and brightest midfielders will battle for control of the ‘engine room’, with the player coming out on top set to hand his team a path to dominance in this heavyweight clash.
Match broadcast details
Sunday 24 October
20:45: Internazionale v Juventus – LIVE on SuperSport Football and SuperSport GOtv Select 1 – MultiChoice Namibia