As the season draws to a close, two of Italy’s powerhouses are set to go head-to-head in what will be a season defining clash. With Inter chasing Scudetto glory, and Juve ultimately playing catch-up to both Palermo and Sampdoria in the race for fourth, the Bianconeri will be looking to pull off a shock result in Milan in the Derby d'Italia to give themselves a fighting chance of seeing Champions League football next year.
Juve boss Alberto Zaccheroni
Following last week’s home win against Cagliari, Juve are now beginning to show signs of improvement and a solidity that has been lacking in recent weeks. However, most importantly at this stage of the season, Alberto Zaccheroni’s men captured all three points.
Having overcome the Nerazzurri earlier this season in Turin, it will be a tough task for Alex Del Piero and Co. to complete the league double over the reigning champions, but not an impossible one. Jose Mourinho’s side have shown signs of weakness in the past few months, which has ultimately seen them fall to second place behind current Scudetto favourites Roma.
As events unfold in Naples, the Bianconeri will be loath to become distracted by the new evidence which has implicated Inter in the Calciopoli scandal this week. Having uncovered new wire-tapped phone call evidence involving former Inter president Giacinto Facchetti and current patron Massimo Moratti in conversation with ex-referee designator Paolo Bergamo, the much debated 2006 Scudetto could yet be taken away from Inter as they become embroiled in the scandal.
One thing is for certain, having been subject to endless mistreatment from rival clubs for ‘disgracing’ the name of Calcio, perhaps in light of the new evidence Inter’s hands are not so clean as many may have thought.
With the rumour-mill in full flow as to the next man to take the Juventus managerial hot seat, this week saw a development which could see an up-and-coming talent at the helm next term. Massimiliano Allegri, ex-Cagliari coach and current holder of the Serie A Manager of the Year award as acknowledged by his peers for his excellent work in Sardinia, is now in search of employment.
Having worked miracles at the Stadio Sant’Elia, Allegri could be the ideal man to take over the reins once Zaccheroni leaves his post. Not only has Allegri taken Cagliari from relegation candidates to potential Europa League contenders until a few weeks ago, he has both experience and a refreshingly youthful and attacking outlook on the game which may benefit Juve.
On a disheartening note, a headline that nearly reduced this grown man to tears. ‘Giovinco out for rest of the season’. Poor old Seba, will his luck ever change? From cutting a frustrated figure on the bench, the little magician will now spend the remainder of the season in the treatment room. The question asked by most Juventini, will we ever see him in a Juve shirt again?