All eyes will be on Antonio Conte’s team sheet for Inter’s clash with Udinese this weekend as Christian Eriksen could make his Serie A debut.
The Dane could have a major say in the title race if he hits the ground running and forges a golden partnership with Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez.
It is a huge few days for fellow contenders Lazio as they have two winnable games and could close the gap to just two points if Juventus beat Fiorentina.
Elsewhere, former AC Milan forward will be looking to show his old side what they’re missing as he runs out for Hellas Verona.
Here’s a look at the key talking points ahead of this weekend’s action.
Christian Eriksen could emerge as a key player for Inter in the title race having just joined
How quickly can Christian Eriksen bed in
What, or more pertinently who, Antonio Conte wants at Inter, he gets. The club have forked out £17.5million to sign Christian Eriksen rather than lose out to a long list of suitors when the former Tottenham man would become a free agent in the summer.
Conte has bemoaned a lack of experience in his side throughout this season, despite the likes of Nicolo Barella, 22, and Stefano Sensi, 24, doing the business for him in midfield.
And his wish has been granted in Eriksen. A year ago, £17.5m would have been an absolute steal for the Danish playmaker but his form has been poor since Spurs refused to sanction a summer sale.
Eriksen could provide Romelu Lukaku (left) with top-level service at Inter Milan
It will be fascinating to see where Antonio Conte plays Eriksen and if he hands him a debut
Just which Eriksen will turn up if handed his debut away at Udinese this Sunday?
Will it be the man who terrorised Premier League defences with his creativity and vision, or the lacklustre player who drifted through games over the last few months.
It will be fascinating to see whether Conte throws him into the deep end at the Stadio Friuli from the start having given him 20 minutes off the bench in the Coppa Italia.
Just where Conte fits Eriksen into his line-up is also a key question. With the 27-year-old naturally a more attacking player, the balance in midfield of Conte’s 3-5-2 formation will be key.
The Danish playmaker was given 20 minutes in the side off the bench in the Coppa Italia
He needs to find the right combination of Barella, Sensi, Eriksen and Marcelo Brozovic.
You would think there is already a strategy in place to get the best out of Eriksen and if he can deliver the service to Lautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku that he’s capable of then Inter’s attack will be frightening.
In a close-run title race, Eriksen’s signing could be a defining moment and Sunday could give some clues about how big a role he’ll play in where the trophy ends up.
Can Fabio Borini haunt his old side?
The former Liverpool and Sunderland forward moved to AC Milan in 2017 but joined Hellas Verona on a short-term deal earlier this month.
Crystal Palace were sniffing around for a deal but the 28-year-old opted to join Ivan Juric’s newly-promoted side.
Verona have been performing well above expectations this season and find themselves only two points behind Milan with a game in hand so there is plenty to play for this Sunday.
Fabio Borini scored after coming off the bench in his first game for Hellas Verona
Borini would love to show Milan what they’re missing after struggling to nail down a consistent spot in the side.
After joining Verona he had some choice words about his time at the San Siro.
He said: ‘There is a willingness on my part to play in various roles. At Milan I played in seven different positions out of 11 with the same mentality.
‘At Milan there are many things that go and others that don’t go. Before leaving I spoke with [Frederic] Massara and we agreed that playing in different positions wasn’t a positive thing for me.
The former AC Milan man will want to show his old side what they let go earlier this month
‘At Milan maybe there were different rhythms.’
At his best, Borini can be a real poacher in the box and he made an impact on debut by scoring a neat header against Bologna.
Juric brought him off the bench last weekend in the victory over Lecce but perhaps he’ll be tempted to give the forward a start knowing he’ll be highly motivated in familiar surroundings.
Defining week for Lazio
SERIE A GAMEWEEK 22 FIXTURES:
Bologna vs Brescia – 2pm, Saturday
Cagliari vs Parma – 4pm, Saturday
Sassuolo vs Roma – 7.45pm, Saturday
Juventus vs Fiorentina – 11.30am, Sunday
Lazio vs SPAL – 2pm, Sunday
AC Milan vs Roma – 2pm, Sunday
Atalanta vs Genoa – 2pm, Sunday
Lecce vs Torino – 5pm, Sunday
Udinese vs Inter Milan – 7.45pm, Sunday
Sampdoria vs Napoli – 7.45pm, Sunday
Lazio vs Verona – 9.45pm, Wednesday
This time next week, Lazio could be just two points behind Juventus, or even ahead of them in the title race.
Simone Inzaghi’s side have been a revelation this season and should not be discounted. Ciro Immobile is scoring for fun with 23 goals to his name in Serie A already this season and he’ll be licking his lips at the prospect of two winnable games in succession.
Lazio host lowly SPAL on Sunday before playing their game in hand against Verona on Wednesday, also at the Stadio Olimpico.
On paper, this should be six points in the bag for Lazio and the table would certainly look compelling if that is the case.
Inter are two points ahead and Juventus hold a five-point advantage having played a game more, so if Inzaghi’s side are genuine contenders then the next few days are absolutely crucial.
Ciro Immobile (left) and Simone Inzaghi (right) will be targeting six points in this gameweek
Lazio’s form has been remarkable. The capital club have not lost a Serie A game since September last year.
In the derby with Roma last weekend they were held to a 1-1 draw and will be eager to bounce back to winning ways.
Having seen Juventus dominate for so many years, it would be great to see them pushed by two title rivals right up to the finish line this season.
SPAL, Genoa and Brescia are all locked on 15 points in the relegation zone. They take on Lazio, Atalanta and Bologna respectively, knowing that every point is likely to count this season.
Lecce are just one point ahead of those sides in the drop zone so it is still all to play for in the race for survival. This is shaping up to be a fascinating contest at the bottom of the table but the battle for fourth is a straight duel at the moment.
Roma currently hold a one point lead over Atalanta and will fancy their chances of leapfrogging the capital club, who face a tricky trip to Sassuolo.
Atalanta could move into the Champions League spots if results go their way this weekend