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Derby d’italia: Closing down Pjanic key to Inter’s success

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All things Inter-Juventus ahead of the derby

Juventus v Bayer Leverkusen: Group D - UEFA Champions League Photo by Eurasia Sport Images/Getty Images

There comes a time every season where the two biggest clubs in Italy meet and battle it out on the big stage. This Sunday is that time, Inter host bitter rivals Juventus at San Siro on match-day seven of the 2019/2020 Serie A campaign.

Juventus

Of course Juventus will be a difficult game, as it is for any side that faces them, they have undeniable quality in their squad from top to bottom. If facing Lionel Messi in mid-week wasn't enough, the Nerazzuri now go up against Cristiano Ronaldo.

Juve have made the usual strong start in Serie A this season, picking up five wins out of a possible six. They were, however, pegged back away to Fiorentina in a 0-0 stalemate meaning the Bianconeri have dropped points early on in the campaign, something which Inter is yet to do.

Juventus definitely pose a huge threat to Inter’s so far perfect start to the season and will be looking to climb to the top of the table themselves with a victory at the San Siro, but this task may not be as simple as it has been in recent seasons.

Inter

Inter will be looking to put things right this weekend after a disappointing night in the Camp Nou on Wednesday. Inter took an early lead in Barcelona through Lautaro Martinez and dominated the game in the first half, but it wasn't to be on the night due to a Luis Suarez brace and of course some Messi magic (what can you do?). Inter played brilliantly on the night and can be proud of the performance but unfortunately its a results based business and came away empty handed.

This Sunday is a perfect opportunity to put things right and what better fixture to do so than Juventus at the San Siro? The Nerazzuri sit nicely at the top of the table after six wins out of six games so far in the league campaign and can go into the Derby d’italia confident of making it seven from seven.

Inter have so far overcome Lecce, Cagliari, Udinese, AC Milan, Lazio, and Sampdoria. Juventus is undoubtedly the biggest test in the league so far but after the performance on Wednesday and the form they have produced so far in Serie A there’s no reason that the winning streak cannot continue on Sunday.

It’s been a long time coming that Inter are up there competing with Juventus but it feels like this season may be the one, Antonio Conte (who started this Juve dominance in the first place) really seems to have got things right for Inter so far and long may it continue.

TEAM NEWS

Romelu Lukaku missed the midweek trip to Barcelona due to a muscular injury, Inter will be hoping to have the Belgian available for the big game on Sunday. Alexis Sanchez who did feature on Wednesday is suspended due to his dismissal in the previous league game against Sampdoria.

Juventus will also be without Mattia De Sciglio, Danilo and Giorgio Chiellini all ruled out with injuries, with three defenders all missing it will be interesting to how that impacts the Bianconeri defence on Sunday.

KEY PLAYERS:

Games of this magnitude can usually be decided by individual moments of magic, this may be the case on Sunday and if so who could that individual or individuals be?

Cristiano Ronaldo - Obviously. Not much needs saying about this man, one of the greatest players to ever grace the game, no matter what you think of him, there is no doubting that he has it in his locker to decide any game, in any minute, on any stage. So he’s definitely someone Inter will need to try and keep quiet on Sunday.

Romelu Lukaku - The big summer signing has started life in Milan well, scoring three in six so far for Inter and has shown that he still possess’s the quality and goal scoring ability we say in his Everton days. If he is fit on Sunday and available to Conte he could be hugely important for Inter to gain a positive result.

Miralem Pjanic - The Bosnian has been ever-present in the heart of the Juventus midfield since his move from Roma in 2016 and has proven himself to be one of the best midfielders in the league. He’s found the net twice in six appearances this season and is deadly from a set-piece, so he can always impact a game.

Stefano Sensi - What a signing for Inter this man is proving to be. Since his switch from Sassuolo in the summer the midfielder has bagged himself three goals and two assists in six games in Serie A. He is proving to be very influential on how this new look Inter play and if he puts in a good performance on Sunday Inter have every chance of maintaining their position at the top of the table.

PREDICTION:

It will be a tough game for both sides, with the top of the table crown at stake, both clubs will be gunning for all three points, who retains it will be whoever wants it more on the night. Forza Ragazzi.