Mazzarri: 'Valencia defeat is my fault'
Juventus and Inter Milan are preparing to meet in the first ever Derby d’Italia to be staged outside of Italy in a game which will never truly be a friendly.
Two hurtful defeats at the weekend have set up the unlikely encounter in Miami with Juve reeling from a 3-1 defeat to the Los Angeles Galaxy and Inter licking their wounds after a humiliating 4-0 loss to Valencia.
Revenge is therefore on both teams’ minds, and what better a game to bounce back in than a derby.
"Inter-Juve is never a friendly," said Inter forward Rodrigo Palacio to Inter Channel. "Even in the United States, it’s an extremely fascinating encounter. Games against Juve are always important and we hope to do well.
"Neither of us did well in our last friendlies, which shows that it’s difficult to combine all the hard work with good results. We’ve worked a lot and our legs are heavy, but we must carry on working like this."
Indeed, while Juve coach Antonio Conte read the riot act after his side’s weekend defeat, Inter coach Walter Mazzarri is far more serene about the situation leading up to his first meeting with Juve as Nerazzurri coach.
"All we have got in common with Juve is that we’ve been working really hard these days," Mazzarri said. "They have been together for ages while our story has only just started not even a month ago. We are a completely new team and we still have to get to know each other."
Victory over the Bianconeri may accelerate that process, at least bringing enthusiasm to the club, although Mazzarri is not reading anything into results at this stage of pre-season.
"You’ve got to decide - either you don’t work so hard because you want to get good results in the friendies or, and this is my choice, you don’t change your plans, you carry on along your path and the hard work will be repaid during the season," he said.
"Of course conceding four goals is frustrating, but the fans need to know that it’s all in favour of a satisfying season."