Juventus are one of the favourites to win the Serie A title, but teams such as Napoli, Roma and Fiorentina are ready to capitalise on any glitches en route to the end of the season. With Napoli just a point behind, Juventus are well aware of the importance of Sunday's game against Inter Milan at the Juventus Stadium.
Juventus have been in terrific form with 18 wins and four losses this season. Their form of late has been even more impressive, defeating Napoli in the Serie A and drawing level against Bayern Munich in their Champions League despite going two goals down.
It is such Champions League matches against quality sides which reflect how strong the Italian club are. Juventus are aware that a victory against Inter Milan will help them take a four point lead, while a defeat against Inter could witness them dropping to the second spot if Napoli defeat Fiorentina on Monday.
Massimiliano Allegri, Juventus manager, believes that the title race in not only between Napoli and Juventus, but also other teams like Roma are still in the contention.
"Inter are still in the hunt for third place and there's still all to play for in the league. It's not just a two-horse race between Juventus and Napoli. Roma are eight points off us, Fiorentina six, Napoli just one and with 12 games to play, there's still a lot to be decided," Juventus football club official website quoted Allegri as saying.
The manager is expected to pick his best 11, but will miss the services of Claudio Marchisio and Martín Cáceres in the crucial encounter, while Giorgio Chiellini and Alex Sandro will return for the home game.
The match is equally important for Inter Milan, who had started the season well but have gradually slipped in the table. They are now fighting for the Champions League spot and a loss is only going to make matters worse for them.
Inter are fighting for the Champions League spot against teams like Roma and Fiorentina.
"Fiorentina and Roma are ahead of us – not by much, but they are. There are three or four games over the coming weeks that could give us some indication of how it will turn out. AC Milan could work their way back into the reckoning too," Inter's official website quoted manager Roberto Mancini as saying.
Despite defeating Sampodria in their last Serie A fixture, their record against big oppositions of late has been a major cause of concern. Inter Milan have lost to Fiorentina and AC Milan, which suggests that the visitors have to come up with a great game against Juventus. Not only do they have to play a great offencive game, but they need to find a way to stop Juventus from scoring goals as well. Juventus have scored 46, while Inter have managed 34 goals.
When Inter faced Juventus last in the Coppa Italia semifinal Game 1, Mancini's men lost 0-3, and another similar result will be a huge disappointment.
"We have to show a positive, attacking mindset, which is what we did in the cup match against them despite the final scoreline. I'd like to win on Sunday to close the gap on the sides ahead of us. We must try to keep a clean sheet but it won't be easy because they're a dangerous outfit. We'll need to defend very well while getting at them with our own game."
Though the recent form suggests Juventus as favourites, the home team cannot afford to take Inter lightly.
Where to watch live
Juventus vs Inter Milan Serie A game has been scheduled for 9:45 p.m local time (1:15 a.m. IST, 8:45 p.m. BST, 3:45 p.m. ET) start with live TV coverage in India on Sony Six.
Viewers in the UK can watch Juventus vs Inter Milan Serie A live on BT Sport Europe, live streaming on BT Sport Live.
US viewers have the luxury of watching the Juventus vs Inter Milan Serie A on beIN Sports USA with live streaming on beIN Sports connect.
Viewers in Italy can watch Juventus vs Inter Milan Serie A on Sky Sport1/HD Italia.