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.