Ronaldo v Lukaku as title-chasing Juventus, Inter conflict


Cristiano Ronaldo’s Juventus and Romelu Lukaku’s Inter Milan conflict on Sunday in what may very well be one of many defining matches of the Serie A season.

The sport within the San Siro is between the highest two in Serie A final season when Juventus gained a ninth consecutive league title only one level forward of Inter.

It additionally pits the division’s prime two scorers towards one another. Ronaldo has 15 targets; Lukaku has 12.

Each groups are favourites this marketing campaign with Inter second, three factors behind leaders AC Milan, with Juventus fourth, seven factors adrift of prime spot with a sport in hand.

As Antonio Conte’s Inter and Andrea Pirlo’s Juve battle it out, Milan have an opportunity to extend their benefit on the half-way level this season as they journey to struggling Cagliari.

Juventus, Inter and Milan are all coming off gruelling Italian Cup fixtures midweek, needing 120 minutes of play every to advance to the quarter-finals.

Conte brushed apart considerations forward of a match which may decide his facet’s possibilities of a primary Serie A title since 2010.

“Each victory offers you with pure vitality, wins recharge the batteries,” insisted the previous Juventus and Chelsea coach.

“We have got time to get well forward of Sunday’s match, which is a vital check to establish the extent we’re at and see the extent to which we have lowered the hole in comparison with final season.”

Inter’s focus is now on home trophies with their European ambitions stifled.

After an eight-match profitable run, the Lombardy facet have misplaced momentum, dropping 5 factors in two video games with defeat to Sampdoria and drawing at Roma.

Inter haven’t crushed Juventus since September 2016 — with a run of 5 defeats and two attracts.

In contrast, after a stuttering debut, Pirlo’s champions have bounced again with three wins in a row together with 3-1 over AC Milan within the San Siro per week in the past.

The conflict is between a group with the perfect assault within the league, with Inter scoring 43 targets, towards the one with the tightest defence with 16 targets conceded.

Friday’s Rome derby kicks off the weekend of soccer behind closed doorways, with third-placed Roma seeking to get again profitable after final weekend’s 2-2 draw to Inter towards native rivals Lazio, in eighth.

Atalanta and Napoli, two factors behind Juventus, within the European locations, host Genoa and Fiorentina respectively.

One to look at: Lorenzo Pellegrini

AS Roma midfielder Pellegrini would be the solely Rome-born participant for both group on the pitch within the metropolis derby. The 24-year-old Italian worldwide got here by means of Roma’s youth system, and has scored 13 targets in 127 video games. Pellegrini was decisive the final time Roma beat Lazio in September 2018, scoring and organising one other in a 3-1 win. “Pellegrini embodies our challenge,” mentioned Roma’s new basic supervisor Tiago Pinto. “He is a younger, proficient participant with an important love for Roma. We’ll do every part potential to barter his (contract) renewal.”

Key stats:

43 – Inter are the highest scorers within the league

16 – Juventus have one of many tightest defences

11 – Ciro Motionless’s targets for Lazio

10 – Cagliari’s run with no win

7 – Inter’s winless run towards Juventus

Fixtures (all occasions GMT)

Friday

Lazio v Roma (1845)

Saturday

Bologna v Hellas Verona (1300), Torino v Spezia (1600). Sampdoria v Udinese (1845)

Sunday

Napoli v Fiorentina (1030), Crotone v Benevento, Sassuolo v Parma (each (1300), Atalanta v Genoa (1600), Inter Milan v Juventus (1845)

Monday

Cagliari v AC Milan (1845)

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