Juventus vs Inter Milan - Juventus boss Allegri highlights title potential of in-form Inter Milan

Posted Saturday, February 04, 2017 by PA

Massimiliano Allegri believes Inter Milan will be one of the threats to Juventus' hopes of continuing their monopolisation of Serie A titles ahead of Sunday's Derby d'Italia.

Stefano Pioli has galvanised the Nerazzurri following his arrival last November and they are currently on a seven-match winning streak in the top flight - although they were slightly halted in their tracks after being beaten in the Coppa Italia quarter-finals by Lazio in midweek.

Nevertheless their red-hot form has convinced Allegri that Inter have emerged as one of Juventus' main rivals for the Scudetto, which the Bianconeri have won for the last five seasons.

Allegri said on his club's official website: "Both Juventus and Inter have the potential to win the league; the latter have picked up 25 points from a possible 30 and as far as I can see will be right in the mix for the title next season, even if there is still all to play for this year."

Inter can close the gap to six points on the league leaders with victory at the Juventus Stadium, where one of the most intriguing subplots will be the battle between two of the best strikers in the division.

Gonzalo Higuain and Mauro Icardi have both found the net 15 times this season, and Allegri highlighted the Argentinian pair in his pre-match preview ahead of what is a busy week for Juve, who face away trips to Crotone and Cagliari after the Inter clash.

The Juventus manager added: "I have no doubt that the game will live up to its billing. In Higuain and Icardi, we'll be seeing two of the world game's best strikers out on the field.

"Whoever the opposition, we need to approach every game with the same focus: we've got three games in seven days coming up and each of them are worth three points."

Midfielder Claudio Marchisio and defender Andrea Barzagli have recovered from injury lay-offs but the latter may not be available as he missed training on Saturday because of illness.

Pioli has never beaten the club for whom he played between 1984-87 during a lengthy managerial career - and it is an unwanted record he is eager to end.

When the statistic was put to him, he replied: "But I've never been in charge of Inter before. They (Juve) are excellent and we'll have to be just as good if we're to match them and stand a chance of beating them.

"It's an opportunity for all of us to send out a message. It's a game worth three points like any other but we also know how much it means beyond that. It's a huge game and we've prepared well for it. We'll need to show a lot of fight."

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