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Serie A: Italian Giants Collide in Turin

Juventus vs Inter Milan

The heavyweight duel between two Serie A contenders will be much awaited by SBOTOP fans, but too bad we can only watch it on television or on the internet.

The league office recently announced that this match will be played behind closed doors due to the coronavirus scare, but that shouldn’t take away the excitement ahead this weekend.

Juventus and Inter Milan continue to play cat-and-mouse at the top of the Serie A standings, and the defending champions still remain on top with 60 points. Inter Milan, meanwhile, are sitting at third with 54 points as they were leapfrogged by Lazio who have 59 points.

The Bianconeri won over the Nerazzurri in their first Derby d’Italia match last October and the former can deal a knockout blow to the latter’s title aspirations should they win this one.

It’s going to be Maurizio Sarri vs. Antonio Conte and Cristiano Ronaldo vs. Romelu Lukaku. It just can’t get any better than this!

 

Talking Points

Juve need to focus on the prize

Cristiano Ronaldo looks to be fully healthy again after a short breather last week, and that spells bad news for the Nerazzurri.

The 35-year-old superstar continues to provide goals and Serie A 2020 highlights for Juventus as he’s the second-leading scorer with 21 goals already.

He, along with Juan Cuadrado and Paulo Dybala, has formed a vicious trio that can wreak havoc even on the strongest of defences – and Inter are no exception.

Their backline have been superb as well as they’ve conceded only 24 goals this season. With guys like Leonardo Bonucci, Matthijs de Ligt, and Samir Handanovic leading the way, getting a shot on target will be quite a daunting task for their counterparts.

But all of this doesn’t mean that they’re infallible as most pundits feel that the team has yet to fully adopt Sarri-ball. Particularly against Lyon, Juve lacked the precision needed to score since they weren’t able to shoot one ball on target, leading to some questions in the dressing room.

“I cannot get the players to understand the importance of moving the ball quickly. It’s difficult to explain why. We lacked determination and aggression when attacking, it’s not enough for a Champions League match,” said Sarri after their loss against Lyon in the Champions League.

“I could tell something wasn’t switched on with the 11 starters. We’ve got to sort this out as these are the things that make the difference,” added Bonucci.

Now facing their bitter rivals this weekend, Juventus will have to find their mental resolve to come away with a victory. Warding off complacency will be the key in order for them to successfully defend their crown.

 

Can Inter still keep up?

Inter Milan’s Serie A 2020 vantage of winning the title took a big hit when they lost to Lazio in the last matchday.

Although they took an early 1-0 lead in the first half, Lazio stole the game away when Ciro Immobile and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic scored one goal each in the second half.

This means that more work needs to be done for the Nerazzurri in order to keep up with the title race and it’s a challenge that the team is willing to take on according to their goalkeeper Daniele Padelli.

“We are Inter and every time we play. We always have to give 110-per cent with or without fans. We will prepare for the match in Turin and be ready,” said Padelli.

Romelu Lukaku has been leading the way for Milan-based squad in the Serie A
Romelu Lukaku in action for Inter Milan during a Serie A match against Lazio

A huge amount of pressure will be placed on the shoulders of top strikers Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez. Inter’s attacking duo have accounted for 28 of their 49 goals so far this season.

In the same token, their defence needs work too as they have yet to tally a clean sheet for the month of February.

 

History

With a lot of quality up front, goals are to be expected this weekend. Both Juventus and Inter have failed to score in just one game in Serie A so far this term.

Juventus have yet to lose against Inter Milan in Serie A in quite some time. The last time that they suffered defeat against Inter was back in September 2016 which ended in a 2-1 score.

Inter Milan have yet to pick up a victory in Turin since 2012.

 

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