Inter Milan and Juventus fierce rivals go toe-to-toe in the Coppa Italia on Tuesday. The condensed Coppa Italia schedule now reaches its semi-final stage.
It is no wonder that this fixture is a mouth-watering clash to football fans. The two Serie A giants lock horns against each other in the semifinal of Coppa Italia. A two-legged Derby d’Italia will decide which of the clubs will meet Atalanta or Napoli in this season’s showpiece final.
Inter Milan come into this game on the back of a 4-0 win over Filippo Inzaghi’s Benevento. An own goal from attacker Riccardo Improta, a brace from Belgian striker Romelu Lukaku and a goal from Argentine forward Lautaro Martinez led to an impressive win. This will be a big boost for Antonio Conte’s side coming onto this big clash.
Juventus come in this after a 2-0 win over Sampdoria on Saturday. Goals from the prolific Federico Chiesa and Wales international Aaron Ramsey sealed the deal for Andrea Pirlo’s Juventus. Two former rivals, viz. Andrea Pirlo and Antonio Conte’s will also battle out against each other.
Head to Head
In the previous fixtures between these two giants, Juventus have a clear edge over their rivals. In 33 former encounters, the Old ladies have won 16 times, drawing 9 and losing only 8 to their bitter rivals.
Earlier in January, when these two clashed against each other in Serie A, the Nerazzurri won. Inter secured a 2-0 win then. The goals came from former Juventus and Barcelona midfielder Arturo Vidal and Italian international Nicolo Barella. It will be a psychological advantage when Inter will take on them tomorrow.
Inter Milan last five games yielded in L-D-W-D-W in Serie A
Juventus’s last five games in Serie A resulted in a W-W-L-W-W for the Bianconeris.
Coming into the Juventus game, the Nerazzurri’s will be a bit worried about injuries to their key players. Star striker Romelu Lukaku, who has been prolific this season, will be suspended for this game after he clashes with Zlatan Ibrahimovich in the previous Milan derby. Talented performing Achraf Hakimi will also be suspended in this match. Besides this, they will also be missing the services of their experienced full-back Daniel D’ Ambrosio and Uruguayan midfielder Matias Vecino.
INJURED: Daniel D’Ambrosio,Matias Vecino
SUSPENSIONS: Romelu Lukaku, Achraf Hakim
Meanwhile, Juventus manager Andrea Pirlo will miss the services of Argentine international Paulo Dybala, who has played a key role this season, nursing an injury. Other than him, there are no known injury cases or suspension in the squad and Pirlo will be able to find a full-strength team against Milan.
INJURED: PAULO DYBALA
The Nerazzurri are forced to make changes in the squad owing to suspensions and injuries. Lukaku will be absent for this fixture. Chilean international Alexis Sanchez is due to fill in the boots of the Belgian Big Man. An integral attacking threat from wing-back, Achraf Hakimi will also have to serve the ban, and he is expected to be replaced by Matteo Darmian. Other than Daniel D’ Ambrosio, Antonio Conte has otherwise a full fit squad to the field. He may be inclined to bring Marcelo Brozovic back in at the expense of Christian Eriksen, while Ashley Young is in contention to replace Ivan Perisic as a defensively sound option on the left flank – given the threat posed by Juve’s Juan Cuadrado.
The Bianconeris will be heading towards the Inter Match with much relief as compared to the Nerazzurri. They only will miss the Services of key striker Paulo Dybala who is nursing an injury. Apart from that, Andrea Pirlo will have all players available for this high-voltage clash. He is expected to give veteran goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon another cup outing. He could rest Giorgio Chiellini. Therefore, Matthijs de Light would come into the center of the Juventus defense.
Brazilian full-backs Danilo and Alex Sandro appear to be in direct competition for a spot on the left of a back four, while in midfield, Rodrigo Bentancur will serve a suspension in the league next weekend so should start alongside either Arthur or Adrien Rabiot. Still a paragon of fitness at his relatively advancing age, Cristiano Ronaldo is expected to start again, with either Dejan Kulusevski or Alvaro Morata providing his attacking partner.
Pirlo believes that in the defensive phase threatening the opponent is as important as defending the goal. Pirlo wants to maintain a high, aggressive, defensive line to compact the opponent’s half while having a goalkeeper that is prepared to sweep up any attacks into depth. He just wants to maintain a balance between offense and defense, compacting the defense as well as going for the goals and keeping the opponent’s defenders busy to make errors. He will undoubtedly apply the same when his team. take on Inter Milan.
Antonio Conte has an excellent tactic applying all through his coaching career. He likes to have three defenders in front of the goalkeeper apart from having a sitting midfielder and two dynamic midfielders pressing for the goal. This is why he uses either Brozovic or Vidal for this role. Besides, he likes to have attacking full-backs who will go down defending when the opponent is attacking. The biggest advantage of Conte is that he has three complementary forwards. Lukaku is used for winning aerial balls, scoring through direct balls, and applying Physical force. Martinez is also a fox in the box.
Conte can use Sanchez when he needs a wideout forward and vying for the ball. In addition to the attackers, the Defensive unit is also well compiled as Conte has at least 3 defenders to stop a sudden counter-attack as well as having almost 6 usual defenders when they are defending. The view of Conte is to keep defense well-composed before going for attacks. This is the reason why Inter has scored the most number of goals in Serie A. To sum up, Inter has been exceptionally well this season with some fantastic build-up plays. They are expected to do the same against Juventus.
Players to watch out for
1) Cristiano Ronaldo
CR7 is the man whom will any team watch out for in the games. In contrast to his advancing age, he seems to play even better than he did in the past. Currently, he’s the top scorer for Serie A with 15 goals.
Should he starts against Inter, he will be an exciting package to watch out for. The left-back has been an integral part of the Juventus squad, always operating through the left flank and keeping the opposition under threat. He has completed 1341 passes and 41 interceptions already this season, the top in the team.
In the absence of Lukaku, he will be at the forefront of the inter striking force and will carry the responsibility of scoring goals apart from being a constant threat in the opposition box. He has already scored 10 goals this season, just behind Lukaku in the inter-team and 7th overall.
Nicolo Barella has been one of the standout performers for Inter this season. He has completely dominated the midfield for Inter this season and has also been wary in the box. His inch-perfect crosses and passes are inter’s one of the most valuable assets. He was the main man behind Inter’s demolishing of Juve earlier this month and bagged the MOM award.
There is little to choose between the teams in terms of form since the last time they met, so this first leg could provide a cagey affair – though probably still a fiery one.
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