In an ill-advised move earlier in the month, Inter appeared to have agreed a transfer deal with Juventus to send midfielder Fredy Guarín to Turin in exchange for Mirko Vučinič. This was until Inter's fans got wind of the deal, and turned up in their droves to protest it. New Inter owner Erick Thohir promptly realised the error of his ways and cancelled the deal, however with Guarín publicly expressing his desire to move, it has left the Colombian in a sort of limbo. With him seemingly frozen out of the Inter side, the Nerazzurri brought in Hernanes from Lazio as a midfield replacement. Vučinić hasn't fared much better, with the Bianconeri signing Pablo Osvaldo from Southampton on loan, meaning that the Montenegrin now seemingly sits sixth in the pecking order of Juventus strikers.
Juventus have been in form in the league of late, not losing since they were turned over 4-2 by Fiorentina in mid-October. Although they were knocked out of the Coppa Italia by Roma and held to a 1-1 draw by rejuvenated Lazio last week, they still have a commanding lead at the top of the table, six points clear of their Coppa conquerers Roma. The draw against Lazio was the first time they had failed to score at least three goals in a league match since mid-December and goals have been coming from all over the pitch, with Arturo Vidal and Paul Pogba contributing heavily from midfield to supplement Carlos Tévez and Fernando Llorente. Unfortunately for the rest of the league, Juventus once again look unstoppable and just like last season and the season before, the title looks theirs to lose.
To add to the off-field turmoil induced by the Guarín saga, Inter's on-field performances have been routinely poor since the turn of the year. Their last victory was in the Milan derby before Christmas, managing just two draws in four league encounters in 2014. Even more worryingly, the two draws have come against Chievo and Catania, two sides propping up the table at present. Inter's problem appears to be a crisis of confidence they have managed just a single goal in 2014. Rodrigo Palacio has gone off the boil and even the return of Diego Milito and Mauro Icardi from their respective injuries hasn't done anything to help the Nerazzurri's goalscoring woes. The only crumb of comfort may come from the fact that last season, they snapped a long Juventus unbeaten run under Andrea Stramaccioni, and they are undoubtedly a better and more settled side now.
The only worry for Juventus is that after his red card against Lazio, Gigi Buffon is suspended, with Marco Storari likely stepping into his place in goal. Inter will be without the important Esteban Cambiasso, who joins long-termers Cristian Chivu and McDonald Mariga on the sidelines.
Juventus injuries and suspensions
Inter injuries and suspensions
Out: Esteban Cambiasso, Cristian Chivu, Mcdonald Mariga (injured).
Juventus: Storari, Barzagli, Bonucci, Ogbonna, Lichtsteiner, Vidal, Pogba, Asamoah, Marchisio, Tévez, Llorente
Inter: Handanović, Campagnaro, Rolando, Juan Jesus, Jonathan, Kuzmanović, Kovačić, Nagatomo, Álvarez, Palacio, Milito
Match date/time: Sunday 2nd February 2014, 20:45 local, 14:45 E.T.
Venue: Juventus Stadium, Turin
TV: Sky Sport 1, Sky Calcio 1 (Italy); beIN Sports, RAI Internazionale (USA); BT Sport 1 (UK).