PRE MATCH: INTER VS JUVENTUS

Here we go again. Juventus vs Inter Milan, in the the first leg of the Coppa Italia semi final. After getting outclassed a few weeks ago vs Inter, in a 2-0 loss at the San Siro, Juventus has righted the ship, with a four game win streak, while Inter has struggled, and their are signs they could be faltering.


A two-legged Derby d'Italia will decide which of the clubs will meet Atalanta or Napoli in this season's showpiece final, with the second leg to come next week.

Otherwise, January was a patchy affair for the Nerazzurri, with draws against Udinese and Roma - plus an unexpected defeat to Sampdoria - interrupting their previously relentless Serie A rhythm. It came to a conclusion most satisfactorily though, as Antonio Conte's men edged past old foes Milan in the Coppa semis and then battered Benevento at the weekend.


Hot on the heels of Milan in the league, Inter have not lifted the Coppa for a decade, so on Tuesday their aim is to take another step towards their first domestic double since the Jose Mourinho era.


Defeat to Inter earlier this month - when Juventus coach Andrea Pirlo was singularly outmanoeuvred by Conte - seems to have acted as something of a catalyst for the Bianconeri.


In January, Juventus managed to turn over Milan, Udinese, Sassuolo, Genoa, Bologna, Sampdoria and Napoli - keeping clean sheets in all four games since losing at San Siro.


Losing finalists last year, Juve added Serie B promotion contenders SPAL to that list of victims in the quarter-finals, thereby inching further towards a record-extending 14th cup triumph in the spring.

Their serene 4-0 win last Wednesday came in stark contrast to the previous round, where Pirlo's side scraped past Genoa, thanks only to the unlikely extra-time intervention of Tunisian international Hamza Rafia - an unheralded former Lyon youth graduate, making his first-team debut as a substitute.


Juve's task this Tuesday is certainly a far more daunting one, with the weight of precedent loaded against them claiming a first-leg win in Milan - only three of the previous nineteen meetings between these long-time rivals have been won by the visiting side.


With confidence high though - and Federico Chiesa now becoming a regular name in support of Cristiano Ronaldo on the stat sheet - the Old Lady can justifiably dream of heading back to Turin with a positive result.

Final Analysis:


There is little to choose between the teams in terms of form since the last time they met, so this first leg could possibly provide a cagey affair - though probably still a fiery one.


With the absence of Lukaku and Hakimi, due to suspension look for Juventus to break Inter's impressive record at home with a nerve racking win.


Final Score: Inter 0-1 Juventus

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