From the Scudetto race to fourth place. That’s an unfortunately all too possible position Inter could find itself in in a few days’ time. The Nerazzurri’s disastrous 2022 means Sunday’s derby d’Italia might have more to do with the top four than the title if Simone Inzaghi can’t find a fix to what’s been plaguing Inter. If he can, a win over Juve could be just what Inter needs to restart its title charge. If not, well, the fallout that would transpire after a loss is better left unsaid.
Juventus has fully wiped out its winless start to the season (that feels like ages ago) and is perhaps even back in the mix for the title. The Bianconeri sit 4th on 59 points and are in the best form of any title contender. Its last league loss came against Atalanta on November 27th and since then Juve has 11 wins and 5 draws, with 29 goals scored and 10 conceded. The midseason addition of Dusan Vlahovic (who has 4 tallies in 7 appearances in Serie A) has sure helped, but Juve is starting to look like a real Allegri team, much to the despair of people who watch football to be entertained. The Bianconeri’s domestic form didn’t quite carry over to the Champions League campaign, where it crashed out in the Round of 16 with a 3-0 home defeat to Villareal, but Juve is still alive in the Coppa Italia after beating Fiorentina 1-0 in the semifinal first leg.
Allegri has Juve lined up in a 4-3-3/4-4-2 shape recently, with January signing Denis Zakaria the long-awaited defensive midfielder the Old Lady has been begging for. The season-ending injury of Weston McKennie means a first-choice midfield will have to wait, but Arthur has been decent as the third partner to Zakaria and Manuel Locatelli. Upfront, Paulo Dybala, Alvaro Morata, and Juan Cuadrado flank Dusan Vlahovic, but the season-ending injury of Federico Chiesa means Juve lack some explosiveness in the final third.
Inter’s recent results (one win in the last seven league outings) don’t inspire much confidence coming into this weekend and the Nerazzurri will need to be on its very best behavior to walk out of Turin unscathed. Unlike in the Super Coppa victory, which Inter only barely won, Allegri will field as strong a team as Juve has to offer. Perhaps Inzaghi will take a page out of Villareal’s handbook, in which the Yellow Submarine sat back for 75 minutes and executed a smash-and-grab to perfection in the final fifteen minutes. Such a strategy isn’t likely to work again, however; Villareal relied on a substantial bit of luck and some superb goalkeeping to keep the scoreline level for so long and Inter doesn’t have those same luxuries.
Inter’s all-time record against Juve is heavily in favor of the bad guys, who lead 107W/57T/66L across 230 meetings. Inter is unbeaten in the last three Serie A meetings for what it’s worth, but two of those have been draws.
- 1-1 (H), 24/10/21
- 2-1 (H), 12/1/22 (Super Coppa)
Predicted Starting XIs
Prediction: Juventus 1-2 Inter Milan
If Inter is going to break out of its slump, a win at Allianz Stadium would be as good a way to go about it as any. Goals from Dzeko and Perisic will cancel out a Dybala strike and keep the Nerazzurri’s title hopes alive for another week.