Inter could scupper Juve's Champions League qualifying hopes

Serie A champion Inter travels to Turin on Saturday knowing a victory over Juventus could result in what would have been unthinkable for nine-time reigning champion at the start of the campaign - finishing outside the Champions League qualification places.

Inter Milan

Inter Milan sealed its first Serie A title in 11 years with four games to spare, ending Juventus' nine-year stranglehold on the league crown.   -  AP

Inter Milan may have clinched its first Serie A title in 11 years but Antonio Conte's side still has something to play for this season -- stopping Juventus reaching the Champions League.

Inter travels to Turin on Saturday knowing a victory over the 'Old Lady' could result in what would have been unthinkable for nine-time reigning champion Juve at the start of the campaign - finishing outside the Champions League qualification places.

Knocked out of Europe's elite competition in the last-16 for the second season in a row, Juventus has not fared much better domestically having failed to challenge for the title and now needing help from others to finish in the top four.

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A first season out of the Champions League for Juve since 2012-13 could be confirmed this weekend should Atalanta, AC Milan and Napoli all win and champions Inter hammer the final nail into the Turin side's coffin at the Juventus Stadium.

Conte may have won three Serie A titles as the Turin side's coach between 2011 and 2014 and captained the club as a player, but the fiery Italian is not one to offer favours and will relish causing his former side more problems.

There is certainly no love lost between Conte and Juve. After an Italian Cup match in February, he was forced to apologise after making a middle finger gesture in the direction of Juventus president Andrea Agnelli.

- No let-up -

There has been no letting up from Inter since the club clinched the title two weeks ago, with Conte's side scoring eight goals in its two subsequent wins.

"We have to continue as we have done this season," full back Achraf Hakimi told Inter TV. "We must prove that we are the Italian champions on Saturday.

"It will be important for our fans to beat Juventus. They will want us to win," he added.

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Along with having to face a side unbeaten in its last 20 league matches, Juve's other problem is that its top-four rivals have found form at the right time.

Second-placed Atalanta, on 75 points, is three clear of Juve with two games to go and is unbeaten in its last 10 league matches ahead of Saturday's trip to Genoa. Milan, level on points with Atalanta, has won its last three in a row, including a 3-0 success at Juventus last weekend, and hosts lowly Cagliari on Sunday.

Napoli, placed a point ahead of Juve on fourth, has enjoyed a fantastic end to the season too, easing the pressure on coach Gennaro Gattuso, but faces a tricky trip to Fiorentina on Sunday.

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