Juventus have revenge on their minds as they prepare for Saturday’s Derby d’Italia against Inter Milan.
Just under a year ago, the Bianconeri’s 49-game unbeaten record in Italian football was brought to an end in what they would consider the cruellest of ways -- with defeat at home to the Nerazzurri.
“That defeat at home still hurts me now,” Juve midfielder Arturo Vidal told Gazzetta dello Sport. “I dream of winning this game.”
It is a dream shared by many in Turin, not least Vidal’s team-mates Paul Pogba and Stephan Lichtsteiner.
Pogba scored his first goal for France in midweek, but is more concerned about picking up three points on Saturday than finding the back of the net at the San Siro.
“It’s always nice to open your account for your national team and of course I’d like to score again on Saturday, but what I am interested in above all is that Juve win,” he told Sky Italia. “Inter are a strong side and difficult to face tactically. We’re going to have to be careful.”
Due care and attention will be required above all from Licthsteiner, whose natural inclination to attack down the right could well be stifled by Inter’s own wide pressing game -- meaning he is unlikely to add to the two goals he scored for Switzerland against Iceland last week.
“That doesn’t matter,” he said. “Just as long as we win. We’re up against a side who will be fighting for the Scudetto, which is their only aim this season, a bit like us two years ago. We know we’re going to meet a charged and motivated Inter.”
Indeed, without European football to think about, the Nerazzurri will be focusing all their attention on their Serie A campaign this season, looking to build on a perfect start which sees them tied at the top with Juve.
“Inter against Juve is like a final,” Inter forward Rodrigo Palacio told Gazzetta dello Sport. “You can’t be tired for a game like this. Playing for your national team always does you good. Sure, I do feel a bit of tiredness, but I can’t think of that.
“Winning the Scudetto will be very, very difficult, but we have got to fight and to work for this, bearing one thing in mind, though: we need to think game by game and not forget that we still have to improve in a lot of things because we’re still getting a lot wrong, as [coach Walter] Mazzarri doesn’t tire of telling us.”