Picking a Best Combined XI of Juventus & Inter Players Ahead of the Derby D’Italia

Juventus welcome Serie A leaders Inter at San Siro on Saturday night for one of the most crucial games of the season as both teams look to win in order to pursue their title race. 

Reigning champions Juventus earned three important points by defeating Napoli last Friday – though are still third in the table – and will look to continue their rise to the top.

On the other hand, Inter are still unbeaten and currently sit first in the table after a smashing 5-0 home win against Chievo last weekend. 

The Nerazzurri have been dragged by their unstoppable captain and top Serie A goalscorer Mauro Icardi, who has bagged 16 goals in 15 appearances so far. 

Juventus talisman Paulo Dybala is going through a tougher time, struggling to put in good performances despite a brilliant start to the season. 

Two points divide Inter and Juventus as they meet for a crucial game that will be decisive for the second part of the 2017/18 campaign.

Here is a look at their best combined XI.

1. Gianluigi Buffon (Juventus)

Samir Handanovic is only a few years younger than him and equally good, but when it comes to choosing the best goalkeeper in Serie A, Gianluigi Buffon has something more. 

It doesn’t necessarily have to do with technical abilities or clean sheets, it’s more a matter of experience and team leadership. 

It also regards both keepers’ future prospects. This will be Buffon’s last season and he will want to gather as much silverware as possible, whilst Handanovic has recently renewed his contract with Inter until 2021 and there’s still plenty of time to win  tournaments. 

2. Danilo D’Ambrosio (Inter)

Inter have one of the best defences in the league and this is partially thanks to D’Ambrosio, who’s been criticised in the past few years but has done admirable work this season. 

He might not be the Nerazzurri’s top player, but has a strong sense of sacrifice and team work that always does him credit. 

No one would dare taking the right flank away from him – including Stephan Lichtsteiner, who is struggling in that same position as of late. 

3. Giorgio Chiellini (Juventus)

The Bianconeri veteran was been ruled out for Juventus’ Champions League match against Olympiakos, but will probably return for the game at the weekend.

He has done some impressive work during the Old Lady’s stoic 1-0 win over Napoli and is generally a reliable figure in the defensive ranks. 

4. Milan Skriniar (Inter)

A  revelation for Inter’s defence this year. Ever since joining the Nerazzurri this summer, Skriniar has scored three goals – the last one being a stunner against Chievo – and has become irreplaceable for Luciano Spalletti. 

His presence in the defence is a certainty for both his manager and his teammates.

5. Alex Sandro (Juventus)

Sandro has been struggling for form this season, but still remains one of the best left-backs in  Serie A. 

The Brazilian still misses the spark that captured the attention of Chelsea manager Antonio Conte earlier this summer and is aiming to get back on track as soon as possible. 

With Douglas Costa in front of him, it will be a joy to see them running through the left flank.

6. Miralem Pjanic (Juventus)

A positive start to the season and some stunning goals have made him invaluable for  Massimiliano Allegri, who expects him to be a real playmaker for the squad. 

The Bosnian has been a Juventus player for only one year but fits very well into the team, understands its dynamics and instills security on the pitch. 

7. Joao Mario (Inter)

Arguably one of the best midfielders of the season, Inter’s Joao Mario has been doing wonders at Inter since August. 

The Portuguese has provided five assists for the Nerazzurri in 11 appearances. 

His eagerness to play more for the Milan outfit is laudable and should be welcomed by Spalletti as a sign of his commitment to the squad.

8. Douglas Costa (Juventus)

A sensational runner and a natural winger, Douglas Costa is ideal for Juventus when it comes to attacking.

The Brazilian has a good understanding with both Paulo Dybala and Gonzalo Higuain, and is particularly keen on providing decisive assists. 

Juventus fans still remember his perfect entrance during the final minutes of Juventus’ match against Sporting last month; the first ball he touched was the assist for Mario Mandzukic’s late winner. 

9. Ivan Perisic (Inter)

The engine behind half of Inter’s goals this season, Perisic has netted seven times and provided six assists in 15 matches, scoring his first hat-trick last weekend against Chievo. 

The facts speak for themselves for the Croatian, who is one of the main reasons why the Milan side are top of the table in this first part of the season. 

10. Paulo Dybala (Juventus)

He may not be at his best right now – he’s been having ups and downs since November – but no one could afford to sideline Paulo Dybala. 

The Argentinian is looking to score more goals but equally loves helping around his teammates when necessary. 

He’s too talented to be kept out. 

11. Mauro Icardi (Inter)

Icardi is the best striker in the league and is only 24. Having scored 97 goals in Serie A during his career, he’s three efforts away from becoming the seventh player in the history of the competition to score 100 goals before the age of 25.  

The Argentine has all the chances to run for a Ballon d’Or in the future and is doing his best to improve every game. 

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Picking the Best Potential Inter Milan Lineup to Face Juventus on Saturday

?League leaders Inter Milan travel to Turin on Saturday night to face Juventus, with a one-point advantage over Napoli after their own defeat to Bianconeri last Friday night.

Inter are the only team to remain unbeaten in Italy after Partenopei lost their record in Naples last time out. 

Mauro Icardi has scored five goals in three coming into this, with winger Ivan Perisic buoyed by his first hat-trick for Nerazurri versus Chievo last Sunday. Inter however, have not won in Turin since 2013.

Here is the best potential lineup that Luciano Spalletti could name to face Juve:   

Goalkeeper

  • Handanovic

    Handanovic1

?Samir Handanovic will play between the posts for Inter.

Defence

  • D'Ambrosio

    D’Ambrosio33

  • Škriniar

    Škriniar37

  • Miranda

    Miranda25

  • Santon

    Santon21

Inter boss Spalletti has surprised many with his choice of back line this season, but to his credit his defence has served him well remaining unbeaten as they do this term. Danilo D’Ambrosio keeps Joao Cancelo on the bench at right-back, as does Davide Santon with Yuto Nagatomo on the opposite side. Milan Skriniar has impressed since his arrival from Sampdoria this summer and will partner Miranda in central defence.?

Midfield

?Spalletti again has a number of options at his disposal this weekend. The most likely set-up will see Joao Mario and Borja Valero holding the two central midfield berths, with Ivan Perisic and and Antonio Candreva in the wide areas. Marcelo Brozovic is prime candidate to play as number ten. 

Forwards

  • Icardi

    Icardi9

?Having scored five goals in his last three games, Mauro Icardi is on fine form for the trip to Turin. With the Croatian duo of Perisic and Brozovic behind the Argentine in an attacking three, Icardi can be confident of continuing his scoring streak for the trip to Juventus this weekend.

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Juventus vs Inter Milan Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More

Just over a week after Juventus took Napoli’s unbeaten run away from them at Stadio San Paolo, the Bianconeri now tackle Serie A leaders Inter Milan on Saturday evening in another mouth-watering affair at Juventus Stadium in Turin.

Juve dug in to produce a performance of champions from the six-time consecutive Scudetto holders, as Napoli froze in the headlights last time out.

Still a point behind the Naples side, the Old Lady look to prise another unsullied record from an unbeaten Inter side now top of the pile, after the Nerazurri’s 5-0 hammering of Chievo last weekend at the San Siro.

Ivan Perisic claimed his first hat-trick for the league leaders on Sunday, and approaching this weekend’s trip to southern Italy, Luciano Spalletti’s men have won three on the bounce. Here is all you need to know ahead of the clash at the Juventus Stadium.


Classic Encounter

Inter Milan's midfielder Dejan Stankovic

For the duo’s most memorable encounter, we go back to 2004 an a five-goal thriller at the Giuseppe Meazza, where Inter held off a late fightback from the visitors to run out 3-2 winners.

Obafemi Martins had given the hosts the lead in the sixth minute, but after Kily Gonzalez’s own goal mid-way through the opening period, early optimism was diffused in Milan. That was before Christian Vieri’s penalty kick on the strike of half-time, as Inter went into the break 2-1 to the good.

When Dejan Stankovic netted two minutes after resumption, Alberto Zaccheroni looked to have the better of opposite number Marcello Lippi. After substitute Marco Di Vaio scored in the final minute of normal time however, the San Siro held its’ collective breath.

In the face of a late barrage of pressure from Juve, the hosts held on. Bianconeri went on to win the league crown, but were then stripped at the end of the season after the now infamous Calciopoli match fixing scandal which saw the Turin side relegated to Serie B.


Key Battle

Gonzalo Higuain vs. Milan Skriniar

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After Higuain returned to the starting XI after injury, his goal against former employers Napoli saw Juve close the gap to just a point on the Naples side, with just two points separating the top three in Serie A.

The Argentine will need to be in similarly clinical form this weekend as he matched up against an Inter defence that have conceded just twice in their last four games.

Whilst Miranda continues as the visitors number one choice in the defence, the Brazilian has built a successful partnership with summer signing Milan Skriniar in the back line.

As the Slovakian centre-back keeps Andrea Ranocchia off of Spalletti’s regular team-sheet, the two have combined well in their early months together. 

Skriniar restricted Napoli’s front three to just scraps when Inter traveled to Naples in October, but a test against Higuain and Juventus in Turin stands as a perhaps a bigger test for the former Sampdoria 22-year-old defender.


Team News

SSC Napoli v Juventus - Serie A

Giorgio Chiellini is again a doubt for the visit of Inter, this time with a stomach injury. The Italian international will be assessed late on but with Benedikt Howedes out until the new year with a thigh injury, Chiellini’s fitness will be key this weekend.

Stephan Lichtsteiner missed the trip to Naples last weekend and is again a doubt with a thigh problem. Should the Swiss miss out, Allegri could again stick with both Mattia Di Sciglio and Kwadwo Asamoah at full-back.

With a clean bill of health for his side, Spalletti’s main consideration lies with who to play as number ten and whether to name Davide Santon for the fourth game running at left-back or revert to Yuto Nagatomo.

Marcelo Brozovic played behind Mauro Icardi against Chievo and could keep his place after an impressive showing, which would see Borja Valero play deeper in midfield.


Potential Juventus Starting Lineup: Buffon; Di Sciglio, Benatia, Chiellini, Asamoah; Costa, Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Dybala, Higuain

Potential Inter Milan Starting Lineup: Handanovic; D’Ambrosio, Skriniar, Miranda, Santon; Mario, Valero; Candreva, Brozovic, Perisic; Icardi


Prediction

FBL-ITA-SERIEA-INTER-JUVENTUS

Like last weekend’s top-of-the-table clash, this is likely again to be a tight affair. Perisic will be on a high after his treble last Sunday and indeed scored against Juve last season.

Inter have not win in Turin since 2013, but after their Spalletti-inspired resurgence this term the Nerazurri will feel like they can put that right this Saturday.

Juventus are hitting their straps ahead of the turn of the year and provided they can call upon their regular starters in Chiellini et al, will be equally confident of a result this weekend.

It is hard to see the game being as strangled in the midfield as last week’s clash was, but a single goal between the two could again be the final result.

Juventus are again approaching their championship best in recent weeks, and with the Old Lady faithful behind them in their Turin home, should just have enough to win. Depending on whether city neighbours Torino can hold Napoli also earlier in the day, the hosts could be top of Serie A come Saturday night.

Prediction: Juventus 2-1 Inter Milan

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VIDEO: Inter Stars Capture the Festive Spirit With a Pretty Cringe Worthy Sing-Along

And so it begins…

Christmas is just around the corner and it’s been fairly quiet so far on the social media front for things of note happening at football clubs around the world.

It’s under three weeks to go until the big day, and Serie giants Inter have got the festive ball rolling with a video of their stars singing along to best-loved Christmas song ‘Jingle Bells’, via their official Twitter.

FC Internazionale v AC Chievo Verona - Serie A

It’s fair to say that their version ‘Inter Bells’ can be described as anything from festive to funny.. to absolutely flaming cringe!

Showing off their pipes to us in the clip are the likes of top stars Mauro Icardi, Ivan Perisic, Joao Mario, Danilo D’Ambrosio, Marcelo Brozovic, Eder, Antonio Candreva and Yuto Nagatomo, who is arguably the star of the show and even vice president Javier Zanetti got involved.

The Japanese international shows off his angelic (yet utterly synthesized) voice at around the 28 second mark, and he is swiftly followed by Eder who was probably just happy to be there. Showman Nagatomo then takes up centre stage for the end clip, as the whole team are conducted by none other than manager Luciano Spalletti.

In fairness when you’re top of the league, things like this are probably more acceptable, but they better hope this doesn’t coincide with a disastrous turn in form.

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Inter lead the way in Serie A by one point ahead of Napoli, and have to play Juventus in their next fixture which will be a true test of their supposed title credentials.

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Man Utd to Offer Juan Mata to Inter as Part of a Sweetener to Bring Midfielder to Old Trafford

?Manchester United are set to offer Juan Mata to Inter Milan as part of a deal which would bring Joao Mario to Old Trafford, after receiving approval from manager Jose Mourinho.

29-year-old Mata has once again fallen down the pecking order with Mourinho at the helm, as, despite having a strong start to the season, the Spaniard has featured just three times for United since the start of November.

FC Internazionale v Spal - Serie A

According to ?Corriere dello Sport, United are using Mata as a bargaining tool to make a move for the star midfielder, however the Serie A side are understood not to be interested in signing the 29-year-old, as they have singled out Henrikh Mkhitaryan as part of a deal instead.

Inter are understood to feel that 24-year-old Mario’s recent performances have not justified the €40m they paid to Sporting in 2016, and are said to be looking to avoid cutting their losses,  and are therefore open to a swap deal, with a loan deal with the option for a permanent move also being mooted.

However, United are set to face some competition in the hunt for Mario’s signature as Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested in luring him to Parc des Princes, as they are potentially willing to offer Javier Pastore as part of the deal to trump the Red Devils’ offer.


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The Portugal international has made 11 Serie A appearances to date this season, notching three assists in a campaign which sees Inter top of the table after 15 league matches. 

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