Tomorrow evening promises to be a night for Jose Mourinho to uncork a bottle of red, turn on the television and sit back while Internazionale's closest rivals seek to wound each other. By the time Juventus and Milan kick-off in Turin Mourinho's Inter should be nine points clear of both. Inter expect by then to have completed their seventh successive Serie A win at bottom club Chievo despite the likely absence of Julio Cruz, Maicon, Marco Materazzi and Adriano.
There will also be notable absentees for Juventus with centre-back Nicola Legrottaglie suspended – enabling Olof Mellberg to feature – and David Trezeguet, Gianluigi Buffon, Christian Poulsen and Tiago injured. Mohamed Sissoko, Alessandro Del Piero and, significantly, Cristiano Zanetti should figure. Juventus coach Claudio Ranieri has admitted that, having based his midfield around Zanetti, he has struggled to replace the Italian during his season-long absence.
Milan will be without Gennaro Gattuso, who may be out for the season with knee ligament damage, plus Andrea Pirlo, Daniele Bonera, Alessandro Nesta and Marco Borriello.