By 90Min
August 27, 2019

Inter are top of Serie A. Admittedly there has only been one weekend of action so far, but the Nerazzurri certainly made a statement of intent on Monday night, dispatching Lecce 4-0 at home. 

Having finished 21 points adrift of Juventus last season, Inter face a difficult task in closing the gap to claim their first Scudetto since 2010. Difficult, but not impossible.

Can they do it? Here are five reasons why they might just be able to.


A Resurgent Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku

The Belgian striker was much-maligned during the final months of his time at Manchester United. Playing in a struggling side that missed out on Champions League football, Lukaku often bore the brunt of the fans' frustrations. However, Conte believes in him.

With 113 Premier League goals to his name, Lukaku has proved himself in England, and now he has a fresh challenge. Manchester United appeared to give up on him, but he has been made to feel very welcome in Italy.

On Monday night, he was thrown straight in to the Inter side from the start, and displayed predatory instincts to score his first goal for the club in the second half. Although the game was only against a newly-promoted club in Lecce, the early signs are promising. Lukaku seems happy, and ready to make a big impact.


The Addition of Diego Godin

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Inter had the second-best defensive record in the league last season, bettered only by Juventus, yet they have still opted to strengthen that area of the side with the signing of Diego Godin.

The Uruguayan centre back has been capped 131 times by his country, and played a major role in making Atletico Madrid one of the best sides in European football in recent years. He missed the opening game of the season through injury, but his return appears imminent.

During his time in charge of Juventus, Conte brought together the famed 'BBC', a back three comprising of Andrea Barzagli, Leonardo Bonucci and Giorgio Chiellini. Now he has the chance to put together a new defensive trio in Godin, Stefan de Vrij and Milan Skriniar.

The latter two appear to be at the peak of their powers, while Godin will bring invaluable experience to the defence. Inter now have the back line for a title charge.


The Midfield Is Ready to Step Up

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Throughout last season, Inter were unable to find their best central midfield trio. Marcelo Brozovic established himself as the deep-lying playmaker, but the other two positions remained up for grabs. 

Radja Nainggolan was brought in from Roma, but a combination of injuries and a loss of form meant that he failed to impress, and was moved on to Cagliari earlier this summer. Luciano Spalletti - Inter's manager last year - tried a number of different options. Matias Vecino, Roberto Gagliardini, Borja Valero, Joao Mario were all given opportunities; none of them convinced.

So that has led to a re-think. Inter needed more dynamism in the midfield this year. Step forward, Stefano Sensi and Nicolo Barella. The pair shone for Sassuolo and Cagliari respectively last season, earning their moves this summer. Sensi has slotted in effortlessly, and scored on his debut on Monday. Barella was left on the bench, but is one of the brightest talents in Italy right now, and his chance will surely arrive shortly.

The midfield was ponderous at times last season. With these two additions, that is no longer the case.


Juventus Have Not Improved

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Inter look set to improve on their last two seasons, when they have squeaked in to the final Champions League spot on the final day of the season. Yet what of Juventus? Will they be any better than last year? The early indications would appear to suggest not.

The major signing for the club this summer was Matthijs de Ligt from Ajax. The Dutch centre back was outstanding last season, and was widely tipped to make a major impact for the Bianconeri. Juventus also picked up a couple of bargains, acquiring the services of Adrien Rabiot and Aaron Ramsey on free transfers.

Yet it was telling that not a single new signing started their first game of the season on Saturday against Parma. Bonucci was preferred to De Ligt, while Rabiot missed out to the ageing duo of Sami Khedira and Blaise Matuidi. 

It is also unclear as to who will lead the line for the champions this season. Gonzalo Higuain, Paulo Dybala and Mario Mandzukic have all been tried during pre-season, yet have been unable to make their mark. 


Conte Is a Serial Winner, Sarri Is Not

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Conte has already won four league titles in his managerial career, three with Juventus and one in England with Chelsea. Sarri, on the otherhand, has yet to claim his first.

Of course, Sari did win his first major trophy in May as Chelsea beat Arsenal 4-1 to win the Europa League. That may give him confidence, but winning a league title is different. 

Conte has the experience in his favour. When situations get tight during the season, he knows how to get through those periods and lead his side through to the title at the end of the season. Sarri has yet to show that he can do that. 


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