Juventus vs. Inter Milan, Preview: Derby d'Italia pits first against second

Claudio Villa

Will Inter be the side to finally end Juve's unbeaten run? Or will the Old Lady's never-say-die attitude produce all three points for the hosts?

The first Derby d'Italia of the season also comes at a time when Juventus and Inter are sitting just four points apart in the table, the nerazzurri having taken advantage of Napoli's stumble against Atalanta to move into second place in Serie A. Both sides have been perfect through their last five matches.

However, it's Inter that's looked the stronger team, having scored eight goals in the last three and rarely giving their supporters a reason to doubt their capabilities. The Old Lady, on the other hand, have looked shaky at times in their last two games. Against Catania, they may very well have been beaten, but a goal was disallowed for the elefanti and an offside goal given for Juventus. When hosting Bologna, Juve allowed the visitors back into the match and needed an injury-time goal from Paul Pogba to earn all three points.

But are Inter the ones who will finally break the bianconeri 49-match unbeaten streak? For the sake of all of Serie A, we really hope so, as this is just getting tiresome. Forwards Antonio Cassano and Diego Milito each have five goals, while Esteban Cambiasso has been a master at providing great balls to create those goals. Andrea Stramaccioni has proved himself adept at coaxing out talent from the legs of those that many believed were over the hill, and he's doing that again with Rodrigo Palacio. The old guard + a new system -- three at the back -- has made Inter a force to be reckoned with.

They've still got a mountain to climb in Turin, though. With Juventus, the danger doesn't come from the strikers -- Fabio Quagliarella's goal against Bologna was the first from a forward in four matches -- but the threat of a goal is ever-present. Will it come from a set-piece, provided by the magnificent Andrea Pirlo? Will it be slotted in at the end, after the Old Lady have exhausted their opponent to the point where they're simply unable to defend? Despite a revitalized defense, this Inter side is still more than capable of leaking in goals, particularly when they've let their guard down.

One hopes this will be a thrilling match, with both sides throwing caution into the wind and playing for all three points. But the unfortunate reality is that both will likely be so unwilling to surrender a goal that we'll end up watching some pretty dull football.

Juventus Injuries and Suspensions

None. Naturalmente.

Inter Milan Injuries and Suspensions

Cristian Chivu, Philippe Coutinho, McDonald Mariga, Joel Obi, Wesley Sneijder, and Dejan Stankovic

No surprises here. Coutinho is the only relative newcomer to this list, and while the youngster is often fun to watch, he's still primarily a bench player. However, Stramaccioni might miss having his tricks on reserve, as he'll want to be able to throw whatever he can against Juve.

Match Date/Time: Saturday, November 3 at 8:45 p.m. local, 3:45 p.m. ET

Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin

TV: Sky Calcio 1 (Italy); BeIN Sport (USA); RAI Internazionale

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