With the Derby d’Italia fast approaching, there remains so much at stake for both Inter and Juventus, as the current title holders travel to Milan for a game of paramount importance.
Juventus have allowed their grasp on the Scudetto to slip somewhat, failing to win either of their most recent two games, seeing Napoli put themselves back in contention to become to first team besides Juventus to win the Italian league since 2011.
Inter, on the other hand, still sit just one point outside the top four, with Lazio and Roma currently occupying the hotly contested Champions League qualification spots.
Ahead of one of the most highly anticipated Serie A fixtures of the season; here’s a combined XI of players from both Inter and Juventus.
1. GK: Gianluigi Buffon
What more can be said about Gianlugi Buffon that hasn’t already been said? The Italy and Juventus veteran has had an extraordinary career, seeing him earn himself as being one of the world’s finest shot stoppers, as well as being one of the most likeable guys in the game.
His goalkeeping ability is second to none in Italy, even at the jaw-dropping age of 40 years old. To have stayed at the top for so long, Buffon truly is a special player.
2. LB: Alex Sandro
An immensely talented full back, Alex Sandro has the great misfortune of competing with Marcelo, Filipe Luis and Alex Telles for his place in the Brazil national team.
As such, his prolonged absence from international football has very little bearing on his actual footballing ability, with Sandro being one of Europe’s most talented left backs.
3. CB: Giorgio Chiellini
Arguably the finest central defender in world football, Giorigo Chiellini has been Juventus’ defensive general for over a decade now, with the Italian sticking with the Old Lady through thick and thin, and subsequently helping them back to the top.
A consistent performer, Chiellini will be a notable absentee from Saturday’s match against Inter and will likely be sorely missed by Massimiliano Allegri’s men
4. CB: Milan Skriniar
2017/18 has been a breakout season for Inter’s Slovakian defender Milan Skriniar. The 23-year-old defender has been a revelation at the heart of a stoic Inter defence, playing next to Miranda, attracting attention from some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
A strong tackler and overall intelligent defender, Skriniar has been one of the players of the season for Inter, and I Nerazzurri would do well to hold onto the talented youngster going into the 2018/19 campaign.
5. RB: Stephan Lichtsteiner
A surprisingly consistent starter for Juventus this season, Stephan Lichtsteiner has proved he is still more than capable of performing at the highest level.
Currently filling in for the injured Mattia Di Sciglio, the Swiss right back has proven he is still a reliable option at right back while also being versatile enough to be utilised further up the field.
6. CDM: Blaise Matuidi
Blaise Matuidi’s importance to Juventus cannot be understated this season. The Frenchman has been the Old Lady’s utility man, adapting his game to suit every occasion, often taking the game by the scruff of the neck and propelling Juventus to victory.
An incredibly influential figure in the centre of the field, the 31-year-old midfielder has been paramount to Juventus’ incredible defence.
7. CM: Miralem Pjanic
Miralem Pjanic seems to be one of Juventus’ unsung heroes. The Bosnian midfielder has such positive impact on the Bianconeri’s performances when he plays with his abundant talent. In fact, when he plays Juventus average 2.7 points per game, compared to 1.8 points per game when he doesn’t play.
The 28-year-old midfielder is a great all-round performer, with excellent passing ability and having a knack for striking shots from distance, Pjanic is a complete player.
8. CM: Rafinha
One of Inter’s shining stars since joining I Nerazzurri from Barcelona in January, Rafinha has been an important attacking influence for Luciano Spalletti’s men. Plying his trade in behind Mauro Icardi, his industrious performances have been greatly influential in Inter’s push for Champions League qualification.
9. CAM: Paulo Dybala
Arguable Argentina’s next talisman, Paulo Dybala has grown into one of the finest players in his position in world football since joining Juventus from Palermo. The 24-year-old has had an outstanding season under Massimiliano Allegri this season, seeing him notch 21 league goals, becoming Juventus’ leading goal scorer in the league.
10. ST: Mauro Icardi
One of the best strikers in the league, Inter captain Mauro Icardi has been I Nerazzurri’s standout performer on numerous occasions this season, scoring 26 league goals, seeing him ranked second in the race for the Serie A golden boot, behind only Lazio’s Ciro Immobile.
Although Inter’s attack can often be found somewhat lacking, the Argentinian striker usually more than makes up for that when he plays, with a natural goal scoring ability helping inspire Inter to victory.
11. ST: Gonzalo Higuain
The third of an Argentinian attacking troika, Gonzalo Higuain rounds out the 11. Although the 30-year-old striker hasn’t been at his brilliant best this season, he has still managed to notch 22 goals across all competitions.
The prolific former-Napoli man has been a consistent source of goals throughout the entirety of his time with Juventus and it could be his goal scoring exploits that see his former club miss out on their first Serie A title since 1990.