Juventus vs. Inter Milan, 3 things to watch: Inzaghi under pressure, Vlahovic the key, Dybala’s future

It has been a long time since January 12, when Inter Milan won at San Siro against Juventus the Supercoppa Italiana. And these two teams have gone a long way in that time, just in different directions. A late Alexis Sanchez winner gave the Nerazzurri their first trophy of the season. Since then, Juventus signed key players in January like Serbian striker Dusan Vlahović and midfielder Denis Zakaria and haven’t lost a single Serie A match in 2022. It’s been a solid new start that gave fans hopes that the rebuilding process led by coach Massimiliano Allegri has already begun to payoff despite the disappointing Champions League’s elimination against Villarreal. 

On the other hand Inter Milan had a very tough beginning of the new year, especially after losing the derby against AC Milan on February 5. That was a defining moment of the season for Simone Inzaghi’s side which was heavily affected by that loss and are still coping with the psychological consequences. Inter Milan fell from the top of the table and seem to be a completely different team searching for answers that now seem always just out of their grasp. Sunday’s match in Turin will tell us who between these two sides has more of a chance to finish the season strong and stay in the Scudetto race with AC Milan and Napoli. Here are three things to watch as these two sides square off (you can catch the match and all the rest of the Serie A action on Paramount+).

The Dusan Vlahovic factor

Serbian striker Dusan Vlahovic will be a key player on Sunday. Since his arrival last January he has been one of the best players on the team and  his undeniable presence has also raised the level of his teammates. Alvaro Morata has become a better striker and playing with Vlahovic has also afforded him the time and space to show his creativity playing off of Vlahovic and supporting the team in a different and more efficient way. The individual duels against Milan Skriniar and Stefan de Vrij will be key to determining this match. Dusan Vlahović has scored four goals in seven Serie A matches with Juventus and scored 21 Serie A goals this season, tied for most in the league with Ciro Immobile. He leads Serie A with 16 non-penalty goals. Here’s where he’s been getting his shots for Juventus.

Vlahovic has been relentless getting into the box

Simone Inzaghi’s last chance

Inter Milan coach Inzaghi is in trouble after the last couple of months of results and many fans are already asking questions about his future. The club is protecting him and focusing on the pitch, but this match can definitely provide some answers about his near term future. While the main goal of the season was to keep the team’s Champions League’s spot, the collapse over the last two months can obviously change the picture on how the former Lazio coach is judged. Winning in Turin would be the perfect way to get rid of rumors about his job security before they grow from whispers to shouts. 

Is Dybala playing against his future club? 

Paulo Dybala will leave Juventus in the summer, the club has announced it and Allegri has confirmed it as well. The Argentinian’s record against Inter Milan has always been positive and he scored some important goals such as the one on March 8, 2020 that basically ended Inter Milan and Antonio Conte’s hopes to win the Scudetto before the Covid-19 outbreak. This will be his last Serie A Derby d’Italia with the Juventus jersey, but reports claim that his future might be at Inter Milan next season. Negotiations haven’t started yet but he might be an option for the Nerazzurri and it definitely would be an incredible shift that would add more fire in the rivalry between the two clubs. 

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