Coincidence or not, it’s been exactly 10 years since Inter were in contention for winning three trophies in a single season, as we all remember Jose Mourinho’s Treble-winning side from 2010.
However, the fact the Nerazzurri are still fighting on three fronts today must not delude anyone. While the current Inter team has undoubted quality, Antonio Conte’s men are nowhere near ruthless nor consistent enough to repeat the heroics of Mourinho’s legendary team that conquered the world a decade ago.
But if this Inter side can’t realistically fight for winning all three of the Scudetto, Europa League and the Coppa Italia, what should be their main target?
At first glance, the answer seems easy. If you ask 10 Inter fans which one of the three trophies they’d prefer to win at the end of the season, probably nine will choose the Scudetto.
While this is only normal, considering Conte’s arrival and the Juventus dominance in the past eight years, it’s safe to say that at this point winning Serie A seems like the toughest task.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Inter would just walk past Getafe and the other teams in the Europa League easily. Nor that they will manage to overcome the 1-0 loss they suffered against Napoli in the first leg of the Coppa Italia without much fuss. No, absolutely not.
However, so far Inter have rotated heavily in both competitions, which clearly shows that neither of them are the main focus. This seems absolutely normal, especially considering that their second team is capable enough to dispatch most opponents in both competitions.
Obviously, if the focus changes, which quite frankly wouldn’t make sense now, and Conte starts playing his best XI in the Europa League, from the remaining teams arguably only Manchester United would be able to trouble the Beneamata.
On the other hand, we can finally say that the level of Serie A has increased so rapidly in recent years, that for the first time in a decade it really seems harder for Inter to win the Scudetto than a European competition like the Europa League this term.
At this point the Beneamata are eight points behind Lazio and six behind Juventus. Yes, Inter have played two fewer games than the Biancocelesti and have a game in hand in comparison to Juventus as well, but those are still points that need to be won. Considering that one of Inter’s postponed games is a Derby d’Italia showdown in Turin, it’s far from certain that Conte’s men will manage to win both matches.
For some reason it still feels a bit strange writing this, but from the three Scudetto contenders Lazio seem like the team in the best position at this point. Unlike Inter and Juventus, who are both fighting on three fronts, Simone Inzaghi’s men were eliminated from both the Europa League and the Coppa Italia, which means they can fully focus on Serie A.
The Biancocelesti play arguably the best football in the league alongside Atalanta and with Inzaghi able to keep his players fresh and field his strongest XI in every game until the end of the season, Lazio must surely be in pole position right now.
When it comes to the Bianconeri, Maurizio Sarri’s inability to get any sort of cohesion and defensive solidity means his men are forced to waste precious energy and go all in against Olympique Lyonnais in order to avoid an embarrassing Champions League exit, and the same applies for the second leg of the Coppa Italia against Milan.
However, there is no doubt that from all three Scudetto contenders, Juventus have by far the most quality, even without mentioning Cristiano Ronaldo, and with a six-point lead ahead of Inter, the Nerazzurri seem to be a bit off the pace right now.
In conclusion, we can say that winning either the Europa League or the Coppa Italia would be good, but would mean little for Inter, especially if Juventus win the Scudetto once again.
Despite the packed schedule, the Nerazzurri are certainly capable of changing the status quo. However, with Lazio proving to be much more than a dark horse and Juventus being able to count on Ronaldo, not to mention the significant point gap, it is obvious that Inter’s ultimate prize would be the toughest one to get.
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