MILAN, ITALY - OCTOBER 29: Esteban Cambiasso of FC Inter Milan reacts during the Serie A match between FC Internazionale Milano and Juventus FC at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza on October 29, 2011 in Milan, Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
The pressure is piling up on Inter Milan as they travel to Turin to face Juventus in the Derby D'Italia.
Juventus and Inter Milan might not share a city, but the rivalry between Italy's most successful clubs is so fierce that matches between the two are now considered derbies: the Derby D'Italia. This year's match in Turin might have a slightly different feel to it, however. Juve still haven't lost this season, although even a win tonight will still have them three points back of AC Milan. Should Inter win, it could very well signify their revival, a late-season run that could see them challenging for a European position. But how many are betting on that outcome?
The hosts are clearly favorites in this tie. Stephan Lichtsteiner is suspended and Andrea Barzagli is recovering from injury, leaving Antonio Conte without his first-choice defense. Martin Caceres will step in on the right, Paolo De Ceglie may very well start on the left, with Giorgio Chiellini and Leonardo Bonucci in the centre. The bigger question is who will start up top: will Mirko Vucinic be rewarded for his fantastic goal against Milan midweek? Alessandro Matri, rested for the Coppa match, will almost certainly start, but will Fabio Quagliarella or Marco Boriello get the nod before Vucinic? It's unlikely, but it could happen. What would be more interesting would be seeing Milos Krasic, named in the 22-man squad, get some playing time. I'd kind of forgotten he wears a Juventus kit.
As for Inter, well...well, what can we say about the nerazzurri that hasn't already been said? They're aging, they're torn by internal strife, they're very nearly a sinking ship. Their primavera squad might be the champions of Europe, but the side seen in Serie A seems to have little creativity, little spark. The club appears stuck in the past, and using the Derby to highlight former accomplishments won't be the way to win. The pressure on Claudio Ranieri has nearly reached a boiling point -- a poor performance here, and he'll be on the job market once again.