Having been beaten by Napoli last week, Juventus will be desperate to bounce back against their old rivals Inter Milan in the latest instalment of the Derby d’Italia. Given that moniker back in the 1960s as a way of celebrating the country’s two most trophy-laden teams, it is a hugely prestigious and history laden fixture, but this time both sides will be more concerned with this season’s league table than events from the past.
Juve now hold just a single point lead at the top of the table, while Inter will arrive at this game still the same distance behind the top four places and desperate to break into that group in order to secure a coveted Champions League berth.
Former defender Marco Materazzi has admitted he is desperate to see his former club derail their opponent’s title bid while also boosting their own chances of an important accomplishment.
“Inter can’t miss this opportunity to take an important step toward a return to the Champions League, and really complicate the season for a historic rival like Juventus,” the 2006 World Cup winner told the Corriere dello Sport newspaper.
“If they don’t win in Milan they risk being overtaken and the pleasure for Interisti would be double. Don’t get me wrong, I know they’ll be angry and therefore even more dangerous, but San Siro is our home and Juventus must not win in our home. If we don’t beat the Bianconeri it’ll be difficult to make a run at the top four.”
Aside from their desperate comeback against Real Madrid two weeks ago, Juventus have surprisingly struggled to score goals in many of their recent games, held 1-1 by Crotone and 0-0 against SPAL.
The same is certainly true of Inter, held scoreless in three of their last five competitive outings and Luciano Spalletti’s men have been overly reliant on the goals of skipper Mauro Icardi throughout the entire 2017/18 campaign.
Inter have kept a clean sheet in each of their last four outings, and Juventus boast the best defence in Serie A, conceding just 20 times in the 34 league games played thus far. As a result, a 0-0 draw appears to be the most probable scoreline, and – after noting that their first meeting this season ended in exactly that way back in December – it is available at a very tempting 7/1 with BetBright.
If that is the option you choose, it is also worth noting that the same bookmaker is offering 16/5 on the match being a draw at half time and full time, plus a further 15/2 on the game being a draw but neither team to score.
While those figures certainly hint at a 0-0 draw, Juve have a long history of grinding out the results they need in Serie A. Playing before Napoli this weekend gives them a chance to extend their slender advantage at the top of the table, something that would certainly add to the pressure Napoli will feel when they face Fiorentina Sunday.
The Bianconeri simply cannot afford to lose, making a look at their chances of either winning or drawing well worthwhile. That is available at 20/57 with RedBet, while the same bookmaker is also offering 7/2 on Juventus to win but both teams to score, something that could well happen as Inter chase their Champions League dream.
Juve boast a strong recent record against their bitter Milanese rivals, losing just two of their last six meetings overall and perhaps most pertinently, emerging with a victory on four of their last six visits to face Inter at San Siro.
Given the fact both teams are desperate for a victory, the fact the form book indicates a scoreless affair might well prove to be misleading. However, upon closer examination – and bearing in mind that the 90 minutes will be thoroughly intense, a look at the final score being under 2.5 goals might be a viable option.
Indeed, that outcome is available with Bet365 at odds of 1.64 (13/20), and in seven of Juventus’ last eight away games that stat has held true. Furthermore only five Inter’s last 18 games have seen over 2.5 goals, the Nerazzurri struggling to score yet continuing their excellent defensive record as discussed earlier.
Inter Milan (4-2-3-1): Handanovic; Cancelo, Skriniar, Miranda, D’Ambrosio; Borja Valero, Brozovic; Karamoh, Rafinha, Perisic; Icardi
Juventus (4-3-3-): Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Benatia, Howedes, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Douglas Costa, Higuain, Mandzukic