Inter hope to end Juve unbeaten run

The mind-games are in full swing as Inter Milan prepare to close the gap at the top to a single point by ruining Juventus' plan to go 50 games unbeaten.

Football News: Philippe Coutinho, Inter Milan

A slick Nerazzurri side have won their last eight games in all competitions to move within four points of Antonio Conte's Juve, who would have preferred an opponent with less momentum behind them as they approach a remarkable half-century of league games without defeat.

The first Derby d'Italia of the season takes place at Juventus Stadium - tickets for tomorrow [Saturday] night's game sold out within two hours of release - with players and coaches from both sides keen to publicly highlight opposing strengths and weaknesses in a bid to find a psychological edge.

In a first shot across the bows, Nerazzurri head coach Andrea Stramaccioni insisted he would not be prepared to settle for a draw in Turin.

So it came as a surprise when Juve defender Andrea Barzagli heaped undiluted praise on the Inter boss, telling Gazzetta.it: "Investing in a young coach is an idea that I like.

"I really hope that more clubs make the decision to do so because we need new managers with new ideas.

"I don't know Stramaccioni very well, how he works, but he seems to understand the game and have a great desire to teach, as well as wanting to learn.

"That shows in how he has transformed the way Inter play."

One man keeping Barzagli up at night, though, is the Nerazzurri's treble-winning striker Diego Milito.

"If I can avoid Milito then I'll be happy," he added.

"I consider him one of the best strikers in Europe. He's strong in every respect, he doesn't lack anything.

"And that's why, in my opinion, he's terrifying."

Inter defender Juan Jesus has adopted a no-fear approach, saying: "I'm not scared of anything, I want to give my all and I think I can help us to win.

"I think we can compete for the Scudetto because Inter is a great team and we can win everything."

Young midfielder Paul Pogba, who earned the Bianconeri victory over Bologna in midweek, should drop to the bench with Arturo Vidal and Claudio Marchisio returning to action.

A full-strength Juve XI can take advantage of a Beneamata squad that is missing Wesley Sneijder, Dejan Stankovic, Philippe Coutinho and Joel Obi through injury.



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