Historically one of the biggest matches in Italian football, the Derby d’Italia has very often featured or even determined eventual Scudetto winners down the years.
This time around, Massimiliano Allegri is hoping that the Bianconeri can secure what would be their 80th league victory over Inter, a result that he identified as key to paving the way to a record-breaking sixth successive Serie A title.
Here are the Tuscan tactician’s standout quotations from today’s press conference in Vinovo:
Key step to Scudetto aim
“Our primary objective this season is that of winning a sixth straight Scudetto title because it would represent an extraordinary achievement: we’d be making history. We’re also looking to lift a third consecutive Coppa Italia, the Super Cup and the Champions League. The latter is a different kind of competition, since you have to pass a group phase consisting of home and away games where the small details often make the difference.
“We can’t afford to lose sight of our main goal and we must keep our feet on the ground knowing that this year will also be more difficult in terms of winning the league given we’re facing many battle-hardened sides.
“We go into each situation with great enthusiasm and tomorrow’s Derby d’Italia is a fantastic fixture, which represents our first key duel in our quest for the Scudetto. Even if it’s only our fourth league game, after Inter we’ll have taken on last season’s top seven sides.”
Squad news for Sunday
“Lichtsteiner and Khedira are certain to play tomorrow. They’ll be teaming up down our right side, but I still need to make a decision on who else will line up at the San Siro.
“Without doubt they’ll be some changes to the team that faced Sevilla, because we’ve another match coming up on Wednesday (against Cagliari) and then a further two fixtures next Saturday (Palermo) and the following Tuesday (Dinamo Zagreb).
"By rotating the squad, we're able to play games every three days at the same high level of intensity."
Formations and flexibility
"We can play in different formations, but what’s more important is the attitude with which we must go and secure the wins.
“As for tomorrow, I’ve already decided to stick with three at the back.”