Juventus vs Internazionale preview: latest team news, probable line-ups, score predictions & more
⚽️ Team News (www.90min.com):
Both teams should be close to having a 'full house' this Friday. Juventus should expect to see Emre Can and Federico Bernardeschi back at the squad.
Alex Sandro was also ruled out against Fiorentina after coming down with a thigh injury but he will likely be back for an Inter game, being Massimiliano Allegri's first choice left-back with Mattia De Sciglio ready to fill in at full-back if the Brazilian fails to recuperate. This means Semi Khedira is the only anticipated absence - German international has been out since the middle of November with an ankle injury
On the other hand Brazilian left-back Dalbert and Belgium attacking midfielder Radja Nainggolan remain Inter's only injury concerns. Manager Luciano Spalletti switched to 4-3-3 on the weekend but given the size of the task which faces the Nerazzurri he will likely revert to his favoured 4-2-3-1.
Keita Balde scored in his second consecutive game at the weekend so has likely done enough to retain his place. Danilo D'Ambrosio provided the assist so he too should also keep his place ahead of Sime Vrsaljko.
⚽️ Predicted line-ups (www.90min.com):
Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Cuadrado, Pjanic, Bentancur, Matuidi; Ronaldo, Dybala.
Handanovic; Asamoah, Vrij, Skriniar, D'Ambrosio; Vecino, Brozovic; Perisic, Mario, Keita Balde; Icardi.
⚽️ Score Predictions
Juventus have been unstoppable in the league this season, and with Inter's inconsistent form away from home, they should expect to see the gap between these two teams grow by another three points.
Inter have had a torrid time away to Juventus in recent years but can hold out hope that their new found defensive solidity and Icardi's recent form, scoring eight in the last seven games, will give them a chance of coming away with the points.
Prediction: Juventus 2-0 Inter
Inter may have one eye on their final Champions League group game next week, but the idea of being the first side to beat Juventus in Serie A this season should really motivate them on Friday night.
Prediction: Juventus 1-0 Inter
Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Inter, with Mauro Icardi scoring for the Nerazzurri
⚽️ Key Battles (by sport360.com):
Cristiano Ronaldo vs Milan Skriniar:
One of the best players of all-time, Cristiano Ronaldo does not require a second invitation to step up in a crunch fixture. After failing to score in his first three games in Serie A, the Portuguese went on to score 10 goals in the 11 games that followed and has provided five assists.
The five-time Ballon d’Or winner has been directly involved in at least one goal in the last 11 games in the league, a phenomenal feat.
The former Real Madrid man can function either as a left-winger or a number nine and in either case he will be up against Martin Skriniar, one of the finest defenders in the league.
Skriniar has dropped commendable performances in some of the toughest games Inter has played this season. The Slovakian kept Luis Suarez and co at bay in Inter’s home leg against Barcelona in the Champions League, a performance that piqued the interest of several top European clubs.
The 23-year-old might be a tough nut to crack for Ronaldo on Friday.
Mauro Icardi v Giorgio Chiellini:
One of the best strikers Europe, Mauro Icardi has always been a thorn in the opponent’s foot. The Argentinian has scored eight goals in nine appearances for the Nerazzurri this season and assisted twice.
Never the one to shy away from a challenge, Icardi has scored against Barcelona, Roma, Milan and Lazio this season. The 25-year-old will be looking to add Juventus to his list of victims.
Even at the age of 34, Chiellini remains one of the best centre-backs in Europe. The Italy international just dropped a flawless performance against Fiorentina and can be a real bother for Icardi.
The Pisa born was reunited with his long-term partner in defence Leonardo Bonucci and the pair will be looking to erect an unbreachable wall in front of the Juventus goal.
The fact that there is no love lost between the players involved renders this a clash extremely significant.
⚽️ Manager quotes:
“They like to play football and try and stretch teams. They’ve got Mauro Icardi up top who is an extraordinary finisher. Plus, they’ve got Perisic, Politano, Joao Mario, Brozovic, Nainggolan, De Vrij and Asamoah, who is one of the best full backs around. Their weaknesses? It’s up to us to exploit them.”
"We must think the teams we face aren't so strong and can't move us off track. On my part, there's no surrender to Juventus.
"Things come to an end when you stop trying and are no longer convinced by your qualities, not when you lose a game."