Due to the long and contentious history between Juventus and Inter, the Derby d’Italia is one of the most fiercely contested matches in Serie A.
They might not be from the same city, but supporters on both sides love nothing more than seeing their team register a victory in a clash which is perennially played in a sold-out venue.
Thanks to an excellent summer on the transfer market, Friday’s encounter takes on even greater significance for the Nerazzurri.
The Milan-based side – who currently sit third in the table – have fallen 11 points behind their bitter rivals after just 14 rounds of action, a situation which leaves them desperate to take all three points.
“I would absolutely not be content with a point at the Juventus Stadium,” Captain Mauro Icardi told reporters at an event earlier this week. “We go there to play it without fear, as that must be the mentality of a sportsman.”
On the opposite side, Max Allegri is also under no illusion as to just how important this game is for his team. “It’s a difficult match, a fascinating and wonderful one against a great side with a lot of technical quality,” the Juve boss told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“It’s a big game because we are in a strong position at the top of the table, Inter are third and doing very well. It’s the game of the year because it’s the Derby d’Italia and that’s always one of the toughest there is, five out of five on the difficulty scale, but then we need to get to May and win the Scudetto.”
If that eight-point lead at the top of the Serie A standings was not enough, the fact that Juventus have won 40 of their last 45 home games in the league underlines just how imperious the Bianconeri are on their own turf.
Inter can rightly point to last season’s 0-0 draw at Juventus Stadium as proof they can gain a favourable result in Turin, but they have not won there since November 2012 and – given the current form of the Old Lady – it is hard to imagine that streak ending on Friday.
With that in mind, the most likely result is a home win, available at 8/15 with Paddy Power.
Given those odds are quite low, it may also be worth a bet on Juve to be winning at half-time and full-time, something they have accomplished in their last four Serie A matches.
It is an outcome available at a best-priced 6/4 with Ladbrokes.
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Their latest win – a 3-0 triumph away to Fiorentina – saw Juventus take their goal difference this season to an eye-popping +23, a record that stands as testament to their impressive work at both ends of the pitch.
The Bianconeri have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three Serie A matches, conceding just eight times in the opening 14 rounds of the campaign overall as their defence remains watertight.
Meanwhile, they have scored at least two goals in 14 of their last 15 league games and lead the division with 31 goals to their name already.
Inter have been almost as good, a tally of four goals less meaning they boast the third-best attacking record in Italy’s top flight and there have been over 2.5 goals scored in their last five games.
As a result, it may be worth considering a look at 888Sport who are offering over 2.5 goals at odds of 10/11, an outcome that is perhaps more likely than many observers expect.
While the Bianconeri have enjoyed an unprecedented level of dominance over their domestic rivals over the last eight years, Mauro Icardi has proven to be a thorn in the Old Lady’s side all too often.
The Argentinian has bagged eight goals and two assists in 11 Serie A appearances against Juve, a record which stretches back to his time at Sampdoria, helping the Genoa-based club to a memorable win at Juventus Stadium back in January 2013.
It is therefore well worth considering backing him to do so once again, with Bet365 offering odds of 13/2 on Icardi to score the first goal on Friday or 21/10 on him to find the back of the net at any time during the match.
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