The Derby d'Italia is always a huge match for the supporters of both clubs. I would say that the rivalry between the Nerazzurri and the Bianconeri is even bigger than the one between the two Milanese teams. And that's why every year when these two teams face each other, regardless of the competition or the placement, there is always a lot of buzz for the event and the expectations that it will be a very exciting match are always high.
There are many reasons why this match is of particular relevance for the Nerazzurri:
- The heated rivalry with Juventus, which also are one of the best team in Europe lately in terms of results. They enter this match having drawn their last two, but their most recent one came against Bayern Munich, so it counts as a very good result nonetheless.
- The necessity of earning three points to avoid the possibility of losing ground from the other teams which are battling for the same target as Inter: the third place. It becomes even more important now that Fiorentina are out of the Europa League and Roma have one foot out of the Champions League after losing 2-0 against Real Madrid.
- Being able to finally winning twice in a row. The last time Inter came home with three points in two consecutive matches was December 12th.
- Winning is always a good thing. A very good one indeed.
It's always hard to stay positive when you are an Inter supporter, especially if you are following this club from a long time. We have boring decades of burning disappointments just to experience few years of pure joy and dominance, and despite that, our love is still untouched. Anyway, every week, when news about Inter's next match came out most of us can only think that it will be another failure for our beloved team. Even if the fact that Kondogbia's suspension have been reduced and he will be able to play the Derby d'Italia should make us feel better, our pessimism thrives when we read such things:
according to @DiMarzio, Mancini tried out two different anti-Juve systems in training today: 3-5-2 and 3-4-3. he could pick either tomorrow— Inter Offside (@inter_offside) February 27, 2016
I could think of nothing worse than playing with a 3-men defense, leaving the flanks completely free for Juve's speedy wingers to play with more space and crush us like they did in the first leg of the Coppa Italia semifinals, when Inter's inability to defend the right and left sides allowed them to score three easy goals. Plus the fact that Mancini, who surely knows more than me about football, wants to play with more than three midfielders when he played with the 433 more often than not this season and his more talented player at creating something is suspended is very surprising to me. And I'm starting to get pissed off by Mancio's supposed camaleontismo. Roby, do you remember who loved to play with the 3-5-2? No? Well, it was Mazzari signature formation. And we hated him/it.
Cosmic pessimism aside, I don't think it would be just as easy as it was in the Coppa Italia for Juve this time. They come into this match more tired than the Nerazzurri and some key players injured like Asamoah, Caceres and Marchisio. The last one, who only played the first 45 minute against Bayern will probably be replaced by the same guy who took his place in the Champions League: Hernanes. Our old friend played a pretty good match against the Germans, so he may have built a little bit of confidence with that performance, but Inter know his inconstancy and should try to take advantage of his flaws.
The battle with our Bianconeri enemies doesn't end this Sunday though. In fact Inter will play against them again next week, on Wednesday, in the second leg of the Coppa Italia semifinals, when they will try to perform an extremely difficult comeback after having lost 3-0 in the first encounter.
Official Starting XIs:
Juventus: Buffon: Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini; Lichtsteiner, Khedira, Hernanes, Pogba, Alex Sandro; Mandzukic, Dybala.
Inter: Handanovic; Miranda, Murillo, Juan Jesus; D'Ambrosio, Felipe Melo, Medel, Kondogbia, Telles; Icardi, Palacio.
How to Watch
TV: beIN Sports (U.S. & Canada), Sky Calcio 1 HD, Sky Sport 1 HD, Sky SuperCalcio HD (Italy), PremiumSport HD (Italy), RAI International
Online: Fubo TV, beIN Sports Connect (U.S. & Canada), Sky Go Italia (Italy)