Saturday February 12 2011
Del Neri: 'Juve on a par with Inter'

Gigi Del Neri insists “the facts prove we can play on a par with anyone, including Inter,” as Juventus prepare for “an intense, emotional and fair game.”

The Derby d'Italia on Sunday evening sees the two arch rivals clash and the Nerazzurri are on far better form.

“The facts prove we can play on a par with anyone. It's not my opinion,” said the Coach.

“We are in good shape now, have recovered some players, so we have a larger and more balanced squad available to us.

“We're playing against a team in top form, both in terms of results and confidence, so clearly putting in a good performance will give us a huge boost. Undoubtedly it is a very difficult and important match against the best side in the world right now, so Juventus will play to the best of their abilities.

“Looking at our performances against Palermo and Cagliari, I think we'll have our say in this game.”

Alessandro Matri scored a brace at Cagliari and Luca Toni marked his comeback with a goal, but Del Neri refused to be drawn on who would start.

“It's not important, as the only thing that matters is the team having the right interpretation and intensity. I expect it to be a very intense, emotional and above all fair match, just as our last meeting was. Obviously, I hope for a good result, too.”

There are some injury concerns too, as Claudio Marchisio is not 100 per cent fit, while Leandro Rinaudo, Armand Traoré, Paolo De Ceglie and Fabio Quagliarella are sidelined.

Del Neri is facing his old Sampdoria striker, Giampaolo Pazzini, but has no time for sentiment.

“Pazzini is a great player and I hope he'll have a glittering career, although obviously I'd prefer it if he started next weekend...”