Both Inter Milan and Juventus progressed through to the quarter-finals of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday night, with each being taken into extra-time by their respective opponents. Attention shifts back to Serie A this weekend and the ongoing title race.
Inter Milan have picked up a single point from their last two matches to slip three points adrift of leaders AC Milan. They recorded seven consecutive Serie A wins to firmly establish themselves as title candidates. But that run was ended in a surprise 2-1 loss to Sampdoria, their first loss in almost two months. It was followed by a 2-2 draw with Roma last weekend. Inter trailed to Lorenzo Pellegrini’s opener for Roma, before Martin Skriniar and Achraf Hakimi scored second-half goals. But Inter couldn’t hang on as Gianluca Mancini equalised four minutes time. That became three games without a win for Antonio Conte’s side when they drew 1-1 with Fiorentina in the Coppa Italia on Wednesday. Romelu Lukaku won the game for Inter with a 119th winner in extra-time. Inter will still be without defender Danilo D’Ambrosio with a knee injury. Midfielder Matias Vecino and forward Andrea Pinamonti also remain sidelined.
Like Inter Milan, Juventus also needed extra-time to progress to the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia on Wednesday. The Old Lady sacrificed a two-goal lead, courtesy Dejan Kulusevski and Alvaro Morata goals, in a 2-2 at home to Genoa. But Hamza Rafia scored an extra-time winner.
Since suffering a surprise 3-0 defeat to Fiorentina, Juventus had won three in row in Serie A prior to the midweek cup tie. They were 4-1 winners over Udinese and defeated leaders AC Milan 3-1 at the San Siro. Last weekend, Juve overcame 10-man Sassuolo 3-1 at home. Danilo broke the deadlock five minutes after the break before Aaron Ramsey and Cristiano Ronaldo sealed the win with goals inside the last eight minutes. Forward Paulo Dybala suffered a knee injury in the first-half last week against Sassuolo. His absence paves the way for Alvaro Morata to return to the starting line-up. Weston McKennie (muscular) and Federico Chiesa (ankle) also picked up injuries last week, but both could be passed fit. Centre-back Matthijs de Ligt is isolating due to coronavirus protocols, joining Alex Sandro and Juan Cuadrado among the absentees.
A tight contest between two of Serie A’s top four is in store. Both teams to score is the best bet with a Juventus the most likely winner. Juventus have a 28-12 advantage with 19 draws from 54 previous matches against Inter Milan. Juventus won both meetings last season, recording a 2-1 win at the San Siro before winning 2-0 at home.
PREDICTION : JUVENTUS 3-1 WIN
ACCUMULATOR TIP : BOTH TEAMS TO SCORE
SINGLE TIP : OVER3.5 FT GOALS