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Preview: Inter Milan vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Inter Milan vs. Juventus - prediction, team news, lineups:ID:357246: from db_amp
Sports Mole previews Saturday night's Serie A clash between Inter Milan and Juventus, including team news and predicted lineups.
By , European Football Editor | 25d

Inter Milan will be looking to consolidate their spot in the top three when they welcome Juventus to San Siro in Serie A this weekend.

Juve beat Fiorentina last time out to secure the 2018-19 title, but it is sure to be a fascinating battle on Saturday night as Inter look to move further clear of bitter rivals AC Milan in fourth position.


Inter Milan

Eighteen wins, seven draws and eight defeats – that is how Inter have performed in Serie A this season. A total of 61 points has left them in third, six points behind second-placed Napoli but five points ahead of fourth-placed AC Milan.

Inter have not actually finished higher than fourth in Serie A since they were the runners-up in the 2010-11 campaign, which is incredible - even more so when considering that they won five straight Serie A titles between 2005 and 2010.

It has been a tough few years for the Black and Blues, but they finished fourth last season and look capable of going at least one better this term. Luciano Spalletti's side will bring a four-game unbeaten run into this match having beaten Genoa and Frosinone, in addition to drawing with Atalanta and Roma in recent weeks.

The Milan giants will follow this clash with a trip to Udinese next weekend, before facing Chievo, Napoli and Empoli in their final three fixtures. Second spot is still very much up for grabs and a win over Juve on Saturday night would certainly hand the team huge confidence.

The situation surrounding Mauro Icardi has certainly not helped Inter this season. Indeed, the forward was stripped of the captaincy earlier this year amid disagreements over a contract renewal. Icardi then claimed that he was injured despite being cleared to play by the team's medical staff.

It seems likely that the 26-year-old will leave Inter this summer, but he has been back involved in recent weeks and would ease some of the criticism if he could fire his side past the Italian champions this weekend.

Spalletti's team have won nine, drawn four and lost three of their 16 home Serie A matches this season, conceding just eight times, which is comfortably the best defensive home record in the division.

I Nerazzurri are without a victory in their last four Serie A matches with Juve, but they did beat the Old Lady at home in September 2016 and are certainly capable of picking up three big points against the champions this weekend.

Recent form: WLWDWD


Juventus

To suggest that a season which includes winning Serie A has been disappointing is perhaps a touch controversial, but there is no question that Juve will still be thinking about their elimination from the Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo was signed last summer with the view to delivering the Champions League title. The Old Lady were viewed by many as the favourites to win the competition this season, and were indeed expected to progress to the semi-finals at Ajax's expense.

The Dutch champions had other ideas, though, and recorded a 2-1 victory in the second leg of their last-eight clash in Turin to progress to the final four. There will be no Coppa Italia this season following defeat to Atalanta in January, meaning that Juve will have to settle for just the Italian title.

Juve are now 35-time Italian champions, which is some record. Massimiliano Allegri's side missed the chance to land the 2018-19 title against SPAL on April 13, but beat Fiorentina 2-1 last weekend to secure the trophy once again.

A record of 28 wins, three draws and two defeats has brought Juve 87 points, leaving them 20 points clear of second-placed Napoli heading into Week 34. Not only have the Old Lady scored the most goals in Serie A (67), they have also conceded the fewest (23).

There is no downplaying what Allegri's side have achieved this season, but it is shaping up to be another very interesting transfer window. Indeed, Juve are expected to spend big once again as they attempt to put together a team capable of finally bringing the European Cup back to Turin.

Suggestions that Ronaldo was already looking to move on are believed to be wide of the mark and there is no question that Juve will be a force again next season, with Allegri seemingly set to stay in his role as head coach.

In the grand scheme of things, this weekend's match is not too important for Juve, but it is always special when two of the giants of Italian football lock horns, which will certainly be the case at San Siro on Saturday.

Recent form: LWWWLW
Recent form (all competitions): WWDLLW


Team News

Marcelo Brozovic and Sime Vrsaljko will both miss out for Inter, but Spalletti has no fresh injury concerns heading into this weekend's clash.

It seems likely that Icardi will return to the final third of the field, taking the place of Lautaro Martinez at the tip of a 4-2-3-1 formation.

Borja Valero could also make way for Roberto Gagliardini in the heart of the midfield, with Radja Nainggolan operating just behind the lone forward.

Ivan Perisic has not been at his best for Inter this season, but the Croatian scored against Roma last time out and will start on the left once again.

As for Juve, head coach Allegri still has a number of injury concerns. Mario Mandzukic, Mattia Perin, Martin Caceres, Sami Khedira and Douglas Costa will also miss out once again.

Paulo Dybala is still carrying a knock, meanwhile, which is expected to see Moise Kean start in the final third alongside Ronaldo and Federico Bernardeschi.

Mattia De Sciglio will also be pushing for a spot in the XI, while Allegri should again include former Arsenal youngster Stephy Mavididi in his squad, with the 20-year-old recently debuting for the Italian champions.

Giorgio Chiellini could return from injury to start, although it seems more likely that the centre-back will be named on the bench.

Inter Milan possible starting lineup:
Handanovic; D'Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah; Vecino, Gagliardini; Politano, Nainggolan, Perisic; Icardi

Juventus possible starting lineup:
Szczesny; Cancelo, Rugani, Bonucci, Sandro; Can, Bentancur, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Kean, Ronaldo


Head To Head



Juve recorded a 1-0 win in the reverse match earlier this season, with Mandzukic scoring the only goal of the contest in the second period.

The Old Lady also recorded a 3-2 victory in the corresponding game last term, but as mentioned above, Inter do have a recent home league success over Juve to their name – a 2-1 win back in September 2016.

Juve's recent record against Inter is extremely strong, though, losing just one of the last 12 Serie A meetings between the two sides dating back to 2012.


We say: Inter Milan 1-1 Juventus



It would certainly not be a surprise to see Inter collect all three points this weekend, but it is difficult to back against Juve due to their stunning domestic form this season. We fancy the draw, which both teams would probably take.






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5Arsenal382171073512270
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd381991065541166
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13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174248-645
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15Burnley38117204568-2340
16Southampton38912174565-2039
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3899203560-2536
RCardiff CityCardiff38104243469-3534
RFulham3875263481-4726
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3837282276-5416
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