Juventus (-145) vs Inter Milan (+393), Draw (+278)
A 5-0 win against Chievo last weekend pushed Inter Milan ahead of Napoli and to the apex of Serie A. Holding onto the lead isn’t going to be easy. Just two points separate the top three, and Inter will have to fend off Juventus this Saturday (December 9th) at Juventus Stadium.
Sports Interaction has placed the current Italian leaders at long odds against the defending Italian champions. Should we pick the surging underdogs or stick to the safe bet of Juventus winning at home? Let’s compare our options.
After 15 fixtures, Inter Milan (12-3-0, 39 points) are the only unbeaten side left in Serie A. Their undefeated run has included wins over the likes of Roma and AC Milan, plus a draw against Napoli. Internazionale are now leading a league that is on the cusp of a new golden age.
Very few people would have predicted this. Inter churned through three managers last season — Roberto Mancini, Frank de Boer, and Stefano Vecchi — and all three failed to lift the club out of its slump. They ended the season in a distant and dismal seventh place. Then came Luciano Spalletti — who had just completed a successful season with Roma — and like magic, Inter’s woes disappeared. They won the pre-season International Champions Cup, beating Lyon, Bayern Munich, and Chelsea, and started the Serie A season with four straight wins. Now they face their biggest challenge yet.
Juventus (12-1-2, 37 points) began the season with six straight Serie A wins, though later stumbled against Lazio and Sampdoria, which allowed Inter and Napoli to overtake them in the standings. They haven’t been quite as dominant this season as in years past, but they’re still among the best clubs in Europe and one of the toughest teams to beat at home. They have won 36 of their last 38 home games in Serie A, and were extremely unfortunate to lose to Lazio at Juventus Stadium earlier in the season.
On the injury front, Giorgio Chiellini, Juve’s defensive linchpin, missed a mid-week Champions League clash against Olympiacos due to a stomach bug and he may not be at his best on Saturday. Striker Mario Mandzukic continues to nurse a calf injury and did not feature in the Champions League match either. There’s also a question mark looming over goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, who may be passed up once again for secondary keeper Wojciech Szczesny.
Meanwhile, Inter Milan do not have any injury concerns to worry about. Luciano Spalletti doesn’t have the depth of Juve available to him, but at least all of his men are match ready.
As always, Inter’s success this weekend will depend on their star striker and captain, Mauro Icardi. With 16 goals in 15 games, he is currently the league’s top scorer. Chiellini will need to be at his best in order to cover him, and there’s a good chance that he won’t be.
Spalletti has developed a system that allows Inter to compete against clubs that far outweigh them on paper. Picking against Juve at Juventus Stadium is always a risky move and the payoff is always huge. Inter have defied the odds multiple times this season, so why not once more? Don’t put your whole bankroll on it, but Inter has more value in this one.
Pick: Inter Milan (+393)