You probably need more than one hand to count the amount of storylines heading into tonight’s Derby d’Italia between Juventus and Inter Milan. They’re not just “Player X vs. Player Y” or how one formation will do against the other. These are major talking points between two clubs that don’t like each other at all — and they’re so easy to identify.
That’s just what this derby is suddenly about.
That’s what might as well be riding on this first derby of the season.
Juventus’ first trip to San Siro this season is a true top-of-the-table clash. It’s also a reunion with an old friend who just so happens to be Inter’s first-year manager in Antonio Conte, the man who is responsible for getting the Turin giants off the mat and back to being the class of Serie A. There’s obviously not many pieces left on Juve’s roster from Conte’s days of screaming at Mirko Vucinic to track back to defend or celebrating a Claudio Marchisio goal like there’s no tomorrow, but that’s something that happens when you’re seven years separated from your first league title in a long run of dominance.
There’s more to it than just a couple of first-year managers going up against one another.
There’s much, much more than just that.
And every bit of it is going to be mentioned multiple times no matter where you watch.
Tonight’s Derby d’Italia isn’t a season-defining game. That might as well be the second meeting between the two teams when they meet in the return fixture in Turin later this season if both Juve and Inter both continue to be the Nos. 1 and 2 teams in Serie A. But this is more of a measuring stick for both sides. Essentially, a chance to see just how much progress they’ve made under their respective new managers as they get ready to head into the second international break of the season.
For Juventus, let’s just hope it resembles what we saw against Bayer Leverkusen midweek. (Although, maybe a little more possession sure would be nice even though the end result was quite pretty.)
For Inter, the same kind of result that we saw midweek against Barcelona would be nice, too.
When: Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019
Where: Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, Milan, Italy
Official kickoff time: 8:45 p.m. local time in Italy and across Europe; 7:45 p.m. in the United Kingdom; 2:45 p.m. Eastern Time; 11:45 a.m. Pacific Time
Juventus starting XI (4-3-3 or 4-3-1-2): Szczesny; Cuadrado, Bonucci, de Ligt, Alex Sandro; Khedira, Pjanic, Matuidi; Bernardeschi, Dybala, Ronaldo
Juventus bench: Buffon, Pinsoglio, Rugani, Demiral, Bentancur, Emre Can, Rabiot, Higuain, Ramsey
Inter Milan starting XI (3-5-2): Handanovic; Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar; D’Ambrosio, Barella, Brozovic, Sensi, Asamoah; Lautaro, Lukaku
Inter Milan bench: Padelli, Ranocchia, Dimarco, Bastoni, Gagliardini, Vecino, Lazaro, Borja Valero, Biraghi, Candreva, Politano, Esposito
HOW TO WATCH
Television: RAI Italia America (United States); RAI Italia America, TLN (Canada); Premier Sports 2 (United Kingdom); Sky Sport Uno, Sky Supercalcio HD, Sky Sport 1, Sky Sport Serie A (Italy)
Online/mobile: ESPN+ (United States); DAZN (Canada); Premier Player HD (United Kingdom); Sky GO Italia (Italy)
Other live viewing options can be found here, and as always, you can also follow along with us live and all the stupid things we say on Twitter. If you haven’t already, join the community on Black & White & Read All Over, and join in the discussion below.