Monday September 28 2020
Advantage Inter in Scudetto sprint

There can be no denying Inter are Scudetto contenders this season, but Richard Hall warns they aren’t the only challengers to Juventus and a strong start could be crucial.

Antonio Conte said that his first season in charge had given Inter back their credibility both in Italy and on the European stage, but even he cannot hide the fact they need to step up from that now and provide silverware. The bedding in period is over, the foundations have been laid, there can be no more downplaying of their ambitions.

With practically no pre-season, the teams that changed the least will benefit, able to essentially pick up where they left off. We’re seeing it with Inter, Milan, Napoli and Lazio, not to mention the ever-surprising Atalanta. Alessandro Del Piero and Italy coach Roberto Mancini have both said La Dea cannot be ruled out of the Scudetto race, having finished third for two years running and consistently built on Gian Piero Gasperini’s vision.

This is why the 4-3 win against Fiorentina was critical for Inter, no matter how they got it. There are many strong clubs who can take points off each other, and whilst Cristiano Ronaldo shows no signs of slowing up, added to the fact that Andrea Pirlo’s side look like an exciting prospect, for the first time in years there is no clear favourite. As the whole of Italy watched Fiorentina nearly hold out against Inter and Roma coming inches away from defeating The Old Lady, it gives other clubs hope that points are up for grabs in fixtures that previously seemed off limits.

Inter’s next outing against Benevento on Wednesday is the type of game they have to win. There can be no slip ups, even though the Stregoni are one of the best equipped teams to come up from Serie B in recent years and gave Sampdoria a bloody nose at Marassi this weekend. Conte had praised his team for their attacking prowess against the Viola, but stressed how they needed to defend much better.

For all teams, lessons need to be learned quickly, as whilst football continues in the pandemic, the lack of a pre-season has had an effect on all teams in all leagues and this is potentially the reason for the unprecedented high-scoring games. Juventus in some respect have an excuse, they have changed coach and the new philosophy has to be worked on during the season. Conte’s players know exactly what they have to do and that is why they need to perform straight away, especially as Lazio and Milan are on the horizon.

These two games offer up a huge opportunity for Inter to put distance between themselves and the other challengers by dealing them a blow in the opening games. The coach has now got the extra strength in depth he has craved and the experience from Radja Nainggolan, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Perisic and Aleksandar Kolarov to supplement the younger players in the squad.

Juventus take on Napoli next before games against Crotone, Verona and Spezia take them into the showdown with Lazio. The fixtures will come thick and fast, this is not a normal season. As the matches mount up, squad size will be crucial and the necessary levels of rotation will test the mentality of their players. Last season Inter manage to rotate well, but the main components of the squad played consistently.

The Scudetto sprint is even more important than it was in other years. The race has changed, it is quicker and it is longer, but the chance to get out in front is very real. A lot will be decided very early and there is no room for Pazza Inter. Conte said he was ready to enjoy the journey more this year even though he didn’t quite admit that the crazy was here to stay. In his own words he said Inter were seen as credible last season, now they have to be seen as more than that.

Have your say...
I think it's too early to be making any kind of assumptions. Juve still have unparalleled (in Serie A) squad depth, so when Pirlo find his feet tactically Juve will be a force to be reckoned with. Inter look good but seem to concede stupid goals. I'm impressed with Benevento's attitude, I don't think they'll go down. Milan look okay but with Rebic and Ibra out the lack of depth in attack is showing. Napoli have great energy but I'm unsure it will last. If Udinese sell de Paul they will go down.
on the 1st October, 2020 at 3:19pm
I miss Luciano Moggi @ Juventus: Let me say this, Inter, WIN ANYTHING - EVEN A COPPA TIM!! That would be your first silverware in a decade or do we have to play a game of "how many owners will inter have before they win something ? "
on the 30th September, 2020 at 5:14pm
This is still Juve's title to lose. It will be theirs to lose until they lose it. They changed coach last season too and didn't play well and still won. So they're still the favorites. As for Inter, I dunno. That fact that they're in a hurry to sell Skriniar and have already sold Godin with seemingly no quality CBs on the way means that an injury to Bastoni or De Vrij will seriously hurt them. As usual, Inter seem to be one debacle away from collapse.
on the 30th September, 2020 at 3:45pm
@moggi's lover, you said "had not-had not blah blah blah", seriously, is that all inter fan can do? You just defend this trash club's failures with lame conspiracy theories which invented by some losers from inter forum on internet. LMAO.

N.B: this blog is about inter. It's always funny to see all inter fans are so obsessed with Juventus. lol
on the 30th September, 2020 at 3:28pm
To read some of the comments from some rubentus fans you would imagine they had RM's record in the CL instead of only winning 2 in their history, both with penalties, and that corrupt Rubenti Platini had not hamstrung the Milan clubs with Farcical Fair Play for the last 10 years. Rube, win something in Europe, then talk!
on the 30th September, 2020 at 11:29am
@ Frank Montagan - very few Inter people ever say they will win at the start of a season - Rubentus people do it for them - Pirlo and Del Piero recently - this needs to be called out because when Inter fail the same BS is trotted out but it is fake news.
on the 30th September, 2020 at 8:19am
@Frank Perisic and Sanchez are proven winners with one winning a treble just a previous season with Bayern and Sanchez winning a number of trophies throughout his career but it seems you didn’t get the point Inter have to rely on them if Lukaku and Lautaro can’t play what will happen if Ronaldo and Dybala gets injured who will Juve depend on especially Ronaldo.The same goes to other players it’s not a matter of if but when injuries/other stuff will happen and affect teams depending on individuals
on the 30th September, 2020 at 5:44am
LMAO @inter fans. It's been always like this. So much hype, so much hubris, so much proud of this trash club. In half season, Inter will do their free fall tradition and you know the rest... their fans will start to play victim and singing about conspiracy theories about referees, UEFA, FIFA, blah blah blah blah.
on the 30th September, 2020 at 4:31am
Phoenix - only loser fans and loser clubs try and taint opposition sides that have been far better than them for years. The same old whining about referees is starting to wear thin. I guess the UCL was also rigged when Inter went out in the group stages and when they lost the final to Sevilla. Hopeless Inter fans always looking for excuses for their many years of incompetence as a club. Only looking a little better now because of the Juve influence of Marotta and Conte.
on the 30th September, 2020 at 2:23am
Blackandblue. There is a lot of hubris in your post which is typical at the start of the season for Inter. Always great expectations and a lot of swagger, but then it all falls apart somewhere along the season. Comparing Perisic and Sanchez as proven match winners like Ronaldo and Dybala are when the chips are down is stretching the credibility a bit - that's why United could not wait to see the back of Sanchez and Inter tried to offload Perisic many times.
on the 29th September, 2020 at 10:55pm
I want to see if Inter's Bench will help them get past the group stage in Champion's league for the first time in a decade !! But if you get a tough group let me remind you that it's your own fault - had you beaten Sevilla you would have been in Pot A and more likely to make it out of the group but let's be honest, with Conte as coach his 3-5-2 is good for Italy and his players can't play with Europe's best but that means you can defend your EL loss
on the 29th September, 2020 at 8:05pm
As the season will be filled with injuries and the potential of key players not being able to play because of COVID 19 as it happened with Ibra for Milan already. Imagine if Juve savior Ronaldo can’t play there’ll be no one to make a difference. The same for Napoli, Atalanta, Milan and Lazio. Last year inter injury crisis that involved Handa as well was the turning point but now even if Lautaro and Lukaku gets injured there’s Perisic, Sanchez to take charge both of whom are proven winners.
on the 29th September, 2020 at 4:31pm
U could argue Fiorentina deserved a draw but what a vital win for
Inter. More than Pazza, they had a good mentality & did well to step it up near the end. They're getting there. Some of it looked a bit like square pegs in round holes but if Conte has changed his mind about certain players & can integrate them, then Inter look very strong with many options. More teams seem to be playing offensive football too, in Italy anyway. I don't see any team with an advantage yet. Hakimi was excellent tho!
on the 29th September, 2020 at 4:27pm
The match against Fiorentina was a test on itself almost all top teams haven’t really been tested so far. It easy to judge when things are going well but a true answer is from when things are going way to ff plan. Inter were supposed to lose that match 100% but the key difference if SQUAD DEPTH saved them. How many times Juve won matches where there were not supposed to over the years but they failed against a physically and mentally weaker Roma. This year SQUAD DEPTH will make the difference
on the 29th September, 2020 at 4:22pm
@ Omar Makko - so you are admitting that before the last decade referees WERE favouring Juventus. Very honest of you. FFP have hanstrung the Milan sides for the last decade, not anymore though!
on the 29th September, 2020 at 3:01pm
Inter is deep, the team has added experienced players and gained much from last seasons Europa league. Can they overcome, along with many top teams in Serie A , the psychology of victimhood, that is, do teams believe they can be champions and boldly take the Scudetto trophy from Juve's grasp after so many years. Like many great players/teams in all sports Juve often get the "calls " because of there deserved quality but championship teams must believe they can overcome anything to win the title
on the 29th September, 2020 at 1:32pm
Yeah... Many people are seeing Inter as the new champions already. But, it'll be very nice to see how this year's Derby Della Madonnina will turn out, especially if Milan continues with this pace - I don't see why shouldn't they, given the excellent squad they have! Also, this round's clash between Juve & Napoli will be an excellent display & opportunity to see if the champs still got it & if Napoli have come back in the role of title contenders. Let's hope COVID don't ruin everything!
on the 29th September, 2020 at 9:42am
Shut up Phoenix with your "blame the referee & everything else" on all Juvenutus's success mentality. This site is plagued by an array of dysfunctional, whinging simpletons trotting out the same neverending nonsense on every single thread irrespective of whether its about Juventus or not. This article is about INTER, how about making a constructive observation about their merits or otherwise for the season ahead? I'm not a Juve fan but this denigration of them & referees is verging on the physcotic
on the 29th September, 2020 at 8:45am
Already looking for the usual excuses? We all know it, we've all seen it... but this early in the season? Come on!
on the 29th September, 2020 at 7:36am

Wait, Wait, lemme rephrase that...

on the 29th September, 2020 at 7:27am
even last year, Juve got unfavorable decision dud. rilex...are inter fan n already send excuse if Inter fail again?
on the 29th September, 2020 at 3:15am

Another delusional old time geezer who has failed to get with the times. VAR has been introduced to Serie A; in fact, it's been in use for well over a year now, so your refereeing excuse falls flat, probably like your personality. Additionally, over the last decade, Juventus have completely dominated the Serie A landscape, without the need for refereeing "favors." Time for you to come up with some new material, as your argument is stale.
on the 29th September, 2020 at 1:42am
Same talk every year, yet juve always win. I think it all depends on Pirlo. Very worrying signs agains Roma, Pirlo cant just rely on names to win it. Too many average players in the team too!! Hoping Arthur doesnt prove a flop like Rabiot and Ramsay. That will likely be a deciding factor for juve. Or ronaldo getting injured. There is a reason why morata has bounced from club to club always sitting on the bench. He is terrible!! This will be evident by end of season. It might be inters year after all
on the 29th September, 2020 at 12:30am
Think it is way too early to make predictions however this year is do or die for inter and conte. He has an awesome team, he has options from the bench, arguably strongest squad in italy now, there are no excuses! I hope for the sake of italy and euros coming that Sensi and Barella continue their development. Just need to thin out the squad now. Watching Hakimi's debut, wow. He provided goals and assists in all the trial games he played, and what an assist against fior. His pace is incredible!!
on the 29th September, 2020 at 12:26am
Inter were lucky to get points against fiorentina, but it was the first game of the season for them so always going to be a little rusty to start. They would have lost this game for sure last year, nice to see the players conte asked for actually making a difference. They actually have a bench! Defence needs to get better, but they were the best defence last year and conte tried something completely different, no doubt di vrij, bastoni back on the LCB and possibly skriniar is a complete step up.
on the 29th September, 2020 at 12:22am
We've finally got a world class 11 (if Conte fields them) and a great bench but we can't be putting D'Ambrosio AND Kolarov or Darmian in the backline, it has to be Skriniar, SDV, Bastoni, or like replacements, if we're going to win the title... really worried about the defense, should not have sold Godin and should not sell Skriniar. If SDV or Bastoni get injured, it's over for us, we're short at the back, and I'd add Napoli, Lazio, Atalanta and Milan as genuine title contenders!
on the 29th September, 2020 at 12:13am
All this talk about an exciting, beautiful and unpredictable scudetto race is nice.. up until Juventus start to feel real pressure, as then, will start to happen refereeing mistakes "made in good faith" in their favour.. quite frequently.We all know it, we've all seen it times and times again.
on the 28th September, 2020 at 11:14pm

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