With the Serie A now heading towards the half-way mark, those contending for the league title are wary to drop any points, especially against their closest rivals.
This scenario gives room for great expectations that a blockbusting clash is on the cards when Inter Milan play hosts to Juventus at San Siro in the star fixture for the week in the Italian top flight.
Having lost the title just by a point last season, one would expect Antonio Conte’s men to come all out on Sunday against Cristiano Ronaldo and his teammates.
Inter and Juventus were far from convincing in their midweek domestic cup action with both Italian Cup last-16 games going into extra-time on Wednesday.
That nonetheless, a different ball game is expected on Sunday especially as these two teams are still chasing table toppers, AC Milan.
It would also be nice to see how the league top scorers will fare against themselves.
Ronaldo has 15 goals, with Inter’s Lukaku trailing close at 12.
Meanwhile, Conte brushed aside concerns ahead of a match that could determine his side’s chances of a first Serie A title since 2010.
“Every victory provides you with pure energy, wins recharge the batteries,” Conte said according to Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa).
“We’ve got time to recover ahead of Sunday’s match, which is an important test to ascertain the level we’re at and see the extent to which we’ve reduced the gap compared to last season. We’ll prepare for it in the right way.”
Inter’s focus is now on domestic trophies and for them to stand a chance, they would have to halt the dominance of the Old Lady over them.
Since September 2016, Inter has not beaten Juventus – with a run of five defeats and two draws. Will that end this Sunday?
Obviously, the Serie A this weekend is not just about Inter and Juve, as Friday’s Rome derby will kick off another thrilling weekend, with third-placed Roma looking to get back to winning in the Lazio visit after last weekend’s 2-2 draw to Inter.
Atalanta and Napoli, two points behind Juventus, in the European places, will host Genoa and Fiorentina, respectively.
Elsewhere, Simmy Nwankwo’s Corotone will be hosting Benevento while Bologna have a home game against Verona.
Lazio vs Roma
Bologna vs Hellas Verona
Torino vs Spezia
Sampdoria vs Udinese
SSC Napoli vs Fiorentina
Crotone vs Benevento
Sassuolo vs Parma Calcio 1913
Atalanta vs Genoa
Inter vs Juventus