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Match Preview: Juventus vs. Inter Milan

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The two clubs meet in a Derby D'Italia on Tuesday. Juventus look to maintain their lead at the top of the Serie A table while Inter hope to gain ground on their European aspirations.

MATCH FACTS:

Date: Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Time: 3:00pm ET / 21:00 CET

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy

Serie A action is set to resume Tuesday evening and the Derby D'Italia between Juventus and Inter is definitely the premier matchup on the bill.

As the Serie A table stands now, Juve occupy the top spot with a slim 3-point lead over runners-up AS Roma. A gulf separates the rest of the field, however, as 3rd-place Lazio are 12 points behind the defending champions.

Inter fans need no reminding that their side sits at 11th in the table. But they need not despair, as the side is currently only six points adrift of the final Champions League spot and manager Roberto Mancini is putting plans in place to complete big signings who will help the club regain a spot in the continent's premier competition. One such recent signing is that of striker Lukas Podolski from Arsenal, and another top talent topping Mancio's wish list is Bayern's Xherdan Shaqiri.

Unfortunately, regarding team selection, Podolski will likely not see any playing time in the match against Juve. The German international was not able to train with the squad over the weekend and the club is still in the process of completing all the requisite bureaucratic formalities. Even if Poldi is cleared for selection, Mancini himself has said that the former Arsenal man will probably only be chosen as a substitute and is not likely to enter the match.

Yuto Nagatomo and Ibrahim Mbaye are also unavailable for selection, as the two players have been called into international duty with Japan in the Asian Cup and Senegal in the African Cup of Nations, respectively. Nagatomo's absence will likely see Danilo D'Ambrosio slotted into the right back position, where he has impressed since working his way into the first team a month ago.

Juventus will be missing several players due to injury, including Andrea Barzagli, Kwadwo Asamoah, and Romulo, but should still be able to field their best eleven. The absence of Asamoah means that Patric Evra will start the match for Juve at left back.

Projected Starting XIs

Juventus F.C.: Buffon; Lichtsteiner, Bonucci, Chiellini, Evra; Pirlo, Pogba, Marchisio, Vidal; Tevez, Llorente

F.C. Internazionale Milano: Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, Ranocchia, Juan Jesus, Dodo; Guarin, Medel, Kuzmanovic; Kovacic; Icardi, Palacio