Inter, Juve likely to draw

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 11 February, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 11 February, 2006, 12:00am

Defeat at Fiorentina in midweek meant Inter missed an opportunity to put Juventus under serious pressure in the Serie A title race, but they get another chance today when they host the defending champions at the San Siro.

Victory for Inter would close the gap to six points, and their home record of 11 wins out of 12 gives them strong claims. They have already scored home wins over Milan and Fiorentina (third and fourth in the table), but suffered their only defeat in the San Siro against fifth-placed Roma. With away defeats against Juventus and now Fiorentina, there is a question mark against Inter when they clash with the top sides, especially as they have conceded at least two goals in four of their five meetings with top-five teams.

Juventus are more consistent and solid, which is the main reason they are leading the table, but their outstanding win rate dips to 50 per cent away to top-half sides. That's still good, but not enough to be confident about their win chance, especially as a draw will maintain their lead at nine points. Draws have dominated this fixture (eight in the last 12 league games at the San Siro) and a stalemate is the best call again.

Cagliari, who gave Roma a fright in their 4-3 midweek thriller at the Stadio Olimpico, can continue their resurgence with a home win over bottom club Lecce. Cagliari's strength is at home, where they have recorded five straight league wins. Lazio should bounce back from their midweek loss at Palermo by beating Udinese at home. Udinese are low on confidence, having taken only three points from seven league games in 2006.

Milan are an obvious away chance at Reggina, having won four out of five away to bottom-half sides and 12 out of 13 overall. Roma, on a run of five wins and two draws from their last seven away games in all competitions, also rate highly for their trip to Siena.

Better odds are available on Chievo, who travel to bottom club Treviso.

Best homes: Cagliari, Lazio, Sampdoria.

Best aways: Milan, Chievo, Roma.