Serie A Preview: Juventus v Inter

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Inter are waiting on whether they can select new signing Lukas Podolski for Tuesday's Derby d'Italia at Serie A leaders Juventus.

Germany international Podolski sealed his switch to San Siro from Arsenal over the weekend but was unable to train with his new team-mates due to paperwork not being completed.

It is hoped Podolski can provide increased firepower for Roberto Mancini's team, who have a solitary league win to their name since October.

Yet there have been some encouraging signs since Mancini returned for a second spell at the helm in time for November's 1-1 draw with bitter rivals Milan, not least the improved form of Mateo Kovacic.

The Croatia midfielder has been rejuvenated by Mancini's deployment of him in the number 10 role and scored in both the 2-0 triumph at Chievo and 2-2 draw with Lazio as Inter closed their 2014 schedule.

"We hope to perform well against Juventus. We have to give everything because that's the only chance we have of bringing home the three points," Kovacic told a press conference.

"We're ready to face the Bianconeri, who -  along with Roma - are the best side in the division. We're preparing well and want to win. We need to be more consistent and it would be great if we could start that process on Tuesday night. 

"Obviously games against Juventus and AC Milan are huge but every match is important and Inter need to always try and secure three points."

Juventus' leading marksman Carlos Tevez ended four games without a goal by opening the scoring in the 3-1 win at Cagliari on December 18, before netting a brace ahead of Napoli's penalty shoot-out victory in the Italian Super Cup.

The Argentine's return to form comes ahead of a notable reunion with Mancini, who managed Tevez during three-and-a-half years in charge of Manchester City.

Despite often prolific form on the field, Tevez endured a tempestuous relationship with his boss - infamously culminating in a touchline spat during City's September 2011 UEFA Champions League defeat at Bayern Munich that preceded a six-month exile from first-team action.

Massimiliano Allegri, who has experienced comparatively serene dealings with Tevez since taking charge in Turin last July, has no major selection concerns to compound the long-term absences of Martin Caceres, Andrea Barzagli, Kwadwo Asamoah and Romulo.

Mancini must do without Yuto Nagatomo and Ibrahima Mbaye, who are on duty at the Asian Cup and Africa Cup of Nations respectively for Japan and Senegal.

Nagatomo's absence clears the way for former Torino right-back Danilo D'Ambrosio to continue the impressive form he displayed after breaking into the Inter first team last month.