They played together as toddlers back in the 1990s when their fathers were leading Parma to trophies at home and in Europe.
Now, the two 26-year-olds are in leading roles themselves entering Sunday’s Derby d’Italia.
Federico Chiesa is a dynamic forward for Juventus, and Marcus Thuram plays virtually the same position for Inter Milan.
A quarter century ago, their dads — forward Enrico Chiesa and centre-back Lilian Thuram — helped Parma to the Italian Cup and UEFA Cup titles. Lilian went on to play for Juventus — his son’s upcoming opponent — and Enrico moved to Fiorentina, where his son Federico began his career.
Both of the current players have scored four goals this season, although Marcus Thuram has gone a step further by also providing five assists.
Federico Chiesa has been the one constant in Juve’s attack, with coach Massimiliano Allegri alternating between Dusan Vlahovic and Moise Kean as his strike partner.
Marcus Thuram, meanwhile, has ably filled the vacancy left by Romelu Lukaku’s acrimonious departure from Inter and formed just as dangerous an attacking duo with Lautaro Martinez.
It’s also a matchup between Serie A’s top two clubs, with Inter holding a two-point advantage over Juventus.
With third-place AC Milan eight points off the lead, “Italy’s Derby” could launch either Inter or Juventus toward the title.
Inter has already qualified for the Champions League knockout rounds, while scandal-hit Juventus is not playing in Europe this season.
It’s a clash between opposite styles, with Allegri’s Juve known for its stingy defence and rare forays forward and Simone Inzaghi’s Inter averaging nearly 2.5 goals per game in the Italian league.
There could be a third son of 1990s Serie A in the match, but Juventus winger Timothy Weah — the son of former AC Milan striker George Weah — appears set to miss the game with an injury.
One key for the game could be how players like Lautaro and Juventus defender Gleison Bremer perform after returning from the rowdy Brazil-Argentina game in South America on Tuesday.
Inter also has a tough match the following week at defending champion Napoli.
Walter Mazzarri marks his return as Napoli’s coach at Atalanta on Saturday.
Mazzarri, who previously coached Napoli a decade ago, was hired to replace the fired Rudi Garcia.
The coaching change came six months after Napoli stormed to its first Serie A title since the days when Diego Maradona played for the club.
Napoli has already lost three home matches in Serie A — after losing just two all of last season.
Napoli striker Victor Osimhen could return from a right thigh injury that has kept him out for more than a month.
Napoli is in fourth place, and Atalanta is one point behind in fifth.
AC Milan is looking to end a four-match winless streak when it hosts sixth-place Fiorentina on Saturday.
But the Rossoneri are without key winger Rafael Leão, who strained a muscle during a draw with Lecce before the international break, and centre forward Olivier Giroud, who is serving the first match of a two-game suspension for insulting the referee.
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