The San Siro club can go a long way to securing their return to the Champions League if they can win the Derby d’Italia
The 235th Derby d’Italia takes place in San Siro on Saturday, with Inter aiming to take a step back towards the Champions League at the expense of rivals Juventus.
Five points clear of Atalanta in fifth, the Nerazzurri are well placed to return to European football’s top table next season, but they face a formidable challenge to improve that position this weekend.
With their Champions League dreams extinguished for another year, all that Juve are playing for is pride after nailing down an eighth successive Serie A title – but the opportunity to get one over on their great rivals is an appetising prospect.
||Inter vs Juventus
||Saturday, April 27
||7:30pm BST / 2:30pm ET
In the United States (US), the game will be broadcast on Rai Italia America and is available for streaming on the ESPN+ channel.
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|US TV channel
|Rai Italia America
In the United Kingdom (UK), the game will not be broadcast or available for streaming.
|UK TV channel
||Handanovic, Di Gennaro, Padelli, Berni
||Skriniar, De Vrij, Mirando, Ranocchia, Asamoah, Dalbert, Soares, D’Ambrosio
||Brozovic, Vecino, Mario, Gagliardini, Valero, Nainggolan
||Perisic, Balde, Politano, Candreva, Icardi, Martinez
Former Inter skipper Mauro Icardi is back in the starting line-up, against a side with whom he has been linked to given his recent fall in standing at the club.
Otherwise, it’s business as usual for the hosts.
Confirmed Inter starting XI: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, De Vrij, Skriniar, Asamoah; Vecino, Brozovic; Politano, Nainggolan, Perisic; Icardi
||Chiellini, Cancelo, Rugani, Spinazzola, Barzagli, De Sciglio, Bonucci, Sandro
||Bernadeschi, Pjanic, Matuidi, Can, Cuadrado
||Mandzukic, Ronaldo, Costa, Dybala, Kean
Juventus are faced with a lengthy list of absentees, including forward Mario Mandzukic and Paulo Dybala. Sami Khedira, Douglas Costa and Rodrigo Bentancur are also sidelined.
There has been some good news, with Giorgio Chiellini set to be passed fit after returning to training.
Confirmed Juventus starting XI: Szczesny; Cancelo, Bonucci, Chiellini, Sandro; Can, Pjanic, Matuidi; Cuadrado, Ronaldo, Bernardeschi.
Inter are 7/5 favourites with bet365Bet365, while Juventus as available at 2/1. A draw is priced at 12/5.
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Having tied down their eighth successive Serie A title with five matches of the season remaining, there is little doubt about the dominance that Juventus hold over their domestic rivals.
On Saturday, they have the opportunity to exert that once again when they visit San Siro, home of an Inter side who one day hope to be a pretender for their crown.
A gulf of 26 points currently separates the two historic rivals, with the Turin side firmly in the ascendancy in the rivalry at present.
Indeed, Juve have slipped up only five times in 33 league meetings, with their recent loss to SPAL coming about largely as their focus was drawn to a Champions League quarter-final tie against Ajax, which they shockingly lost.
Nevertheless, the status quo was restored last weekend as Alex Sandro and an own goal gave Juve a 2-1 home win over Fiorentina and with it the knowledge that yet another Italian crown was safe.
Juan Cancelo has played on both sides of this bitter divide and was happy to stoke the fire of animosity prior to the weekend’s clash.
Speaking to DAZN, he said: “Inter boss Luciano Spalletti helped me a great deal, especially to understand certain defensive concepts, and I am grateful to him for that. The six months on loan at Inter were important.
“That experience allowed me to join Juventus, the best club in Italy, with Allegri one of the best coaches in the world. He’s a great person and I still have much to learn from him.”
Inter, meanwhile, are seeking a return from the wilderness. After being led to the Champions League title of 2009-10 by Jose Mourinho, they finished second in Serie A the following year but have yet to return to the podium.
Third place and with that the club’s best finish in a decade is entirely attainable within reach and Matias Vecino has already set his sights higher next term.
“It’ll be a beautiful opportunity against Juve. It’s a game felt by the club,” he told Sky Sport Italia. “Juve have shown more consistency, so they must be a reference for not only us.
“We must try to get closer to their level and compete for the Scudetto. We can think about fighting for the title, but what counts is what happens on the pitch and we have to show that we’re worthy.
“We have to work. Next season we’ll be back fighting the Scudetto. It’s an objective for the club, but to say it now doesn’t make any sense.”
Now is the time for Inter to make good on their promise.