The first meeting of the 2023/23 campaign between Inter and Juventus promises to be a big one. As if the a Derby d’Italia itself wasn’t enough, it’s also number one against number two in this weekend’s marquee Serie A matchup. To get ready for the festivities, we’re joined by host of the Red Card Report Podcast and member of The All Juve Cast Joe, who was kind enough to answer all of our Juve-related queries. You can follow him on Twitter here.
A big thanks to Joe for stopping by!
Q: What’s the vibe around Juve coming into the derby and what does a successful 2023/24 campaign look like overall?
A: I would say the overall vibe at Juve right now is somewhat mixed. Going into the derby, Juve have won the last five games, not in completely convincing fashion. We’ve also got our fair share of injuries - Locatelli, Miretti, Danilo and Weah to name a few. Loca and Miretti are rushing to recover in time, which is never a good thing. Their absences in the team would certainly be felt. As for what a successful campaign would look like, I’d personally want a Scudetto but I’d be happy with a top 3 finish. This is the only competition, aside from the Coppa Italia, that Juve are in - no excuses to not try and go for it.
Q: What are Juve’s strengths and weaknesses under Mister Allegri?
A: Without a doubt, our biggest strength under Max is our defense. He has got that formula down. Currently tied with Inter for the most number of clean sheets (8). Our biggest weakness I would say is our attack - we have plenty of talent up front but no one seems to know what to do in the final third of the pitch. Oftentimes it just becomes formulaic too - pass out to the wing, cross and inshallah. Juve is starved for more creativity in that department.
Q: What players will decide this weekend’s derby for Juve? On the other hand, are you particularly worried for anyone on Inter?
Our starboy Federico Chiesa is going to be the one to watch for Juve in my opinion. He had a great international break with the Italian national team, and now that they qualified I’m sure he’s focused on the derby and remaining fit and sharp. For Inter, I’m most concerned about Marcus Thuram. He is a great all around attacker who can score and assist - great dribbler as well. I think he will cause a lot of problems for Juve’s defense.
Q: There’s always talk about attackers doing poorly in Allegri’s defense-first system and Dusan Vlahovic’s numbers seem to be a good example of that (go ahead and place a bet on a goal from the Serb now that I’ve said that). (1) What’s up with him and Federico Chiesa? and (2) who has managed to thrive under Allegri?
A: It’s anyone’s guess as to what is actually going on behind the scenes with Dusan and Chiesa. From what I can see - Dusan gets left on an island in attack, while Allegri seems intent to play Chiesa in a support striker role to accommodate other players for the wings/wingback roles. Neither situation benefits these players and I’m not sure I see Allegri changing that anytime soon, which is frustrating. The players that have managed to thrive under Allegri are defenders (shocker) - look at Bremer for instance. He is an absolute unit. Kostic and Rabiot are also two other guys who seem to perform day in and out for Allegri.
Q: And lastly, what is your predicted scoreline and lineup for Sunday?
A: These games are ALWAYS tough. The last three meetings of these teams including the Coppa Italia have all been 1-1 and 1-0 score lines. I don’t see that changing so I’m going to say 1-0 corto muso, nail biting Juventus win.