Inter Milan manager Simone Inzaghi insists Sunday’s clash with Juventus will not be decisive in the Serie A title race.
Italy’s top two clubs do battle at the San Siro with only one point separating the sides and the winner guaranteed to finish the weekend at the summit.
It will be leaders Inter’s first match at home in a month after two away trips were sandwiched by Super Cup success in Saudi Arabia and they could take a big step towards a first title since 2021 with all three points.
— Inter (@Inter) February 2, 2024
“Tomorrow’s match is very important, but not decisive,” Inzaghi told a press conference.
“It will be very close, in the first leg (game) it was not an exciting match, but now we are playing at home in front of our fans and we will try to play a match in the best possible way.
“Juventus had a great journey, similar to ours, we are preparing as best we can .
“Both teams will have pressure, we must be happy to play this great match. There will be pressure as it should be, but we must be proud to play this challenge, we will have the push of the fans who we want to make happy.”
Inter have won 17 of their 21 Serie A matches and could open up a four-point gap at the top with a game in hand with victory over Juventus.
The first clash between the teams ended 1-1 back in November, but the hosts will be without former Juventus ace Juan Cuadrado due to injury.
Inzaghi added: “There has been a lot of talk about favourites, we are Inter and we know we have great responsibilities in every match.
“We have already played 30 very positive ones, in January we played five matches in 22 days, of which the last four were away from San Siro and we won a trophy.
“We have to look ahead though, we want to make this match ours. I wouldn’t make comparisons though, there are still four months to go and it’s not yet decisive.”
Inzaghi has won eight cups since becoming a manager, but not tasted Serie A success.
Opposite number Massimiliano Allegri has won six Scudettos, five of them during his first spell with Juventus.
However, Inzaghi, 47, played down suggestions the match will be decided by the two coaches, with Allegri winning nine of their 18 meetings.
“I have great respect for Allegri. Fortunately we have won a lot with Juventus, even if we have also lost in recent years,” Inzaghi said.
“The challenge is not Inzaghi-Allegri, but Inter-Juventus. The protagonists are the players who go on the pitch to help their teams.
“Allegri has won a lot, he is a winning and expert coach. He is very practical, I like him a lot.
“I think I saw an excellent Juventus this year. They won 16 games out of 21. They were very good, to keep the Inter’s pace required a super team and they are proving to be one.”