Serie A league leaders Juventus host third-placed Inter Milan in the Derby d’Italia on Friday, knowing a win will put them 14 points clear of the Nerazzurri.
Group Serie A Standing Juventus Stadium, Turin, Italy
Key Stat: Juventus have dropped just two points in Serie A this season, winning 13 of their 14 league matches so far.
Expert Verdict: Despite the 11-point gap between the sides, Internazionale have been one of Juventus' nearest challengers. The Nerazzurri's form has dropped off in recent matches, however, whereas the Juve juggernaut goes on - 13 wins in 14 league games, including the last five in a row, is relentless and they can extend their lead at the top with another home win.
Emre Can could return to the bench for Friday’s match, according to Tuttosport, with the German international ramping up his training preparations after six weeks out injured. Sami Khedira remains sidelined, however, with Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur set to continue as the midfield trio. Alex Sandro missed the win against Fiorentina but is expected to return at left-back.
Cristiano Ronaldo – His summer acquisition made an already fearsome Juventus attacking trio even stronger and the Portuguese superstar has delivered 11 goals and seven assists so far.
Mario Mandzukic – Off the back of helping Croatia to the World Cup final, the striker has scored seven times this season with a further two assists.
Paulo Dybala – While his best goalscoring form has been reserved for the Champions League, the Argentine striker is the key third part of Juve’s attacking trio.
Manchester United’s late comeback win in Turin was Juventus’ first defeat of the season but they have bounced back from that 2-1 defeat with four straight victories. Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo both netted in a 2-0 win at Milan and repeated the trick at home to SPAL after the international break. Mandzukic made it three from three with the only goal of the game at home to Valencia before Rodrigo Bentancur, Giorgio Chiellini and Ronaldo scored in a 3-0 win at Fiorentina last time out.
Defenders:Mattia de Sciglio, Leonardo Bonucci, Giorgio Chiellini, Alex Sandro
Midfielders:Blaise Matuidi, Rodrigo Bentancur, Miralem Pjanic
Forwards:Paulo Dybala, Mario Mandzukic, Cristiano Ronaldo
Dalbert Henrique is doubtful with a leg injury, while Sime Vrsaljko fitness issues have seen him drop back down to the bench. Radja Nainggolan missed last week’s match against former team Roma with an ankle injury and is a doubt for the trip to Turin. Borja Valero could continue in his place.
Mauro Icardi – Three goals in Inter’s last five matches have taken him to 11 from 16 matches, as well as contributing two assists.
Keita Balde – Earned a starting place having scored three goals in the last two league games – his first three goals of the season.
Ivan Perisic – One of Croatia’s leading lights in their run to the World Cup final and has scored two goals and assisted two more so far this season.
After a run of nine wins in ten games, Inter have hit a sticky patch with just one victory in the five matches they have played since – and that was at home to struggling Frosinone. Prior to that win, they drew 1-1 with Barcelona in the Champions League – Mauro Icardi scoring an 87th-minute equaliser – before a 4-1 thrashing at Atalanta despite Icardi netting a penalty to make it 1-1 early in the second-half. Keita Balde scored twice and Lautaro Martinez netted the other in a 3-0 home win, but they then lost 1-0 at Tottenham Hotspur before a 2-2 draw with Roma last time out – Balde and Icardi again in the goals.
Defenders:Danilo d Ambrosio, Milan Skriniar, Stefan de Vrij, Kwadwo Asamoah
Defensive Midfielders:Marcelo Brozovic, Matias Vecino
Attacking Midfielders:Keita Balde, Borja Valero, Ivan Perisic
Juventus have a dominant head-to-head record in the Derby d’Italia, with 105 wins in the 233 official matches between themselves and Internazionale. Inter have won 71 times and there have been 57 draws. More recently, only two of the last 13 matches have ended in an Inter win, and even one of those – the second leg of the 2015/16 Coppa Italia – saw Juventus triumph on penalties. Last season, the match in Turin ended in a goalless draw before Juventus scored two goals in the last four minutes to beat ten-man Inter 3-2 at the San Siro. Here are the results of the last five matches:
Apr 28, 2018: Inter Milan 2-3 Juventus
Dec 09, 2017: Juventus 0-0 Inter Milan
Feb 05, 2017: Juventus 1-0 Inter Milan
Sep 18, 2016: Inter Milan 2-1 Juventus
Mar 02, 2016: Inter Milan 3-0 Juventus
Juventus have come to dominate the Derby d’Italia in recent years with just two defeats in the last 13 matches between the two.
And looking at the form guide, there is little chance of Inter adding to those two wins this time out, either – Juventus having won 13 of their 14 Serie A matches so far this season.
That run includes five wins in their last five league games and four in a row in all competitions since defeat to Manchester United in the Champions League.
The reason for their form is in large part down to the form of their front three – in the last 14 Juve matches, at least one of Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic or Paulo Dybala has scored.
Ronaldo has four in the last five games following his penalty at Fiorentina last time out, while Mandzukic has three in the same period.
Behind them, the midfield trio of Blaise Matuidi, Miralem Pjanic and Rodrigo Bentancur have stepped up following injuries to Emre Can and Sami Khedira and have enjoyed a run of form as a result.
And then, defensively, it is now four straight clean sheets for the Juventus defence and just eight goals conceded in Serie A so far this season.
Are there reasons for Inter to be cheerful? Very few, in truth. They have won just one of their last five games in all competitions, having previously managed nine wins in ten, and dropped off the pace again.
Radja Nainggolan’s injury is a further blow, though at least Keita Balde has been in the goals in the last two league games – alleviating some of the pressure on top scorer Mauro Icardi.
The Juve defence has been excellent this season, however, and the home team can claim another win to extend their already dominant lead atop Serie A.
Juventus vs Internazionale Recommended bets with oddsIn outstanding form, Juventus are favourites to beat Inter Milan at 4/7 with Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betfair, Betway and 10Bet.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Mario Mandzukic and Mauro Icardi are in goalscoring form, and over 2.5 goals (there were five when the two teams last met) will return 10/11 with 888sport and Bet365.
Both teams to score has been set at 10/11 with Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betway and 888sport but most are split which reflects Juventus’ excellent defensive form and run of four clean sheets in a row. You can back against BTTS at a similar price.
Ronaldo is 10/11 to score at any time, for the fifth time in six games, with Betway, while Mandzukic – form whom it would be a fourth goal in five games – is a best price of 8/5 with Betfair, Paddy Power and Betway.
At least one of Ronaldo, Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala have scored in Juve’s last 14 matches and the Argentine can also be backed at 8/5 with Betway.
Juventus’ supreme form has continued in Serie A and with the front three in excellent form and the back four keeping plenty of clean sheets, it is hard to see how Inter can stop the Juve juggernaut.