Monday, December 18, 2017

Prediction: Juventus vs Inter Milan

Verdict: Home win & both teams to score

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: bet365

Serie A leaders Juventus face a fresh challenge as they play host to the league’s in-form side, but at the same time they can make another important step towards defending the coveted trophy. This is as good a moment as any for Inter Milan to be facing the Serie A holders as they have now won seven league fixtures on the bounce.

Juventus

Juventus remain the team to beat in Italian Serie A as they are once again leading the title charge, although the title race is not as straightforward as in previous years. The likes of AS Roma and Napoli have also impressed in opening exchanges, but they both slipped up last weekend, allowing the Bianconeri to create a four-point cushion at the summit, while they also have a game in hand. Juventus, on the other hand, were able to build on the Coppa Italia triumph over AC Milan, recording a 2-0 away win over friendly club Sassuolo, with Gonzalo Higuain once again getting on the scoresheet. While we agree that the fee the Bianconeri paid to Napoli for his services was over the top, the Argentine has proved to be an excellent signing, bagging 15 goals in 21 league outings for his new club. Max Allegri has surprisingly switched to 4-2-3-1 formation of late in an attempt to accommodate all his top forwards into the starting line-up, but the change has yielded pretty good results, with Cuadrado, Dybala and Mandzukic now operating behind lone striker Higuain. Summer recruit Miralem Pjanic was subsequently given a more withdrawn role, and he now operates as a deep-lying playmaker, which hasn’t stop him from working his magic in the middle of the park.

Team News

Max Allegri doesn’t have too many selection problems as Mario Lemina is the only unavailable footballer at the moment, with Mehdi Benatia back in contention.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan fans have endured some tough times over the last few years, and this season seemed to be the case of same old as the team had a pretty disappointing start under Frank de Boer. Results did not improve immediately upon Stefano Pioli taking over the reigns, but the former Lazio boss eventually managed to help the team return to the right track. As a result, the Nerazzurri have been thoroughly impressive over the last couple of months, winning nine matches in all competitions before eventually losing to Lazio in the Coppa Italia quarter-final on Tuesday. However, having recorded seven successive triumphs in Serie A to kick-start their top 3 bid, Inter Milan are unlikely to be too downhearted by the Coppa Italia exit and they now have a chance to enter the title race by defeating Juventus in Turin. That is obviously easier said than done, but we shouldn’t forget that the Nerazzurri are brimming with confidence and playing their best football in years. Inter Milan won last three away fixtures in the league, but have already lost to AS Roma and Napoli on the road this term, which is enough to suggest they have problems when facing top sides away from home.

Team News

Stefano Pioli will have fully fit squad to select from, but a number of first team regulars will return after they were rested in midweek.

Key Factors to Consider

  • Inter Milan won 7 straight Serie A games
  • Juventus have 27 successive wins in Serie A fixtures at home
  • The Bianconeri are averaging 2 goals per game in last nine matches
  • Inter won last two fixtures against Juventus, both at home
  • The Bianconeri had won four of previous seven meetings (D3)

Conclusion

Juventus have now won amazing 27 straight Serie A games at home and we doubt that Inter can prevent the Bianconeri from adding another to said run. However, with the Nerazzurri flying high at the moment, we do expect them to score in Turin, helping make this a memorable encounter.

Verdict: Home win & both teams to score

Best Odds: 12/5

Bookmaker: bet365

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