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Improved Inter Milan a Threat to Roma?

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CDT continues its Know Your Enemy series with Milan's other team, Inter, who pose more of a threat in the table than AC Milan do, especially after an impressive transfer market this summer.

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Inter Milan

Last Season: 8th place, 55 pts, +11 goal differential

Manager: Roberto Mancini

Key Additions: Miranda, Geoffrey Kondogbia, Martin Montoya, Jeison Murillo, Jonathan Biabiany, Stevan Jovetic

Key Departures: Joel Obi, Xherdan Shaqiri, Matteo Kovacic

Synopsis

Like AC Milan, Inter Milan took a page out of Roma's book by unexpectedly bringing back former manager Roberto Mancini last season, a move reminiscent of Roma's hiring of Zdenek Zeman in 2012, when Roma made its own trudge down memory lane. During Mancini's first time around at Inter, the Milan club won many trophies domestically, but Mancini could never progress deep into the Champions League, so it'll be interesting to see what happens this time around.

With the roster Inter has built this summer, Mancini should have no problem competing for European places next season, however it remains to be seen how well Inter will perform should it play in European competition, especially with the team facing Financial Fair Play regulations (FFP). Inter recently had to sell star Matteo Kovacic to Real Madrid due to FFP regulations.

Style of Play

Roberto Mancini is flexible as a manager, as Inter Milan played regularly in both a 4-3-1-2 formation and a 3-5-2 formation last season. Inter played slightly more games in the 4-3-1-2, and had far more wins and goals scored in that formation.

Mancini loves his teams to be able to build from the back, as well as be solid defensively, which is where Inter's defensive reinforcements come into play. Inter's defensive unit conceded 48 goals last season, which isn't the greatest number. Defenders Miranda and Jeison Murillo should contend for starting jobs, while Martin Montoya should provide an offensive threat at right back, which should improve Inter Milan's defense as a whole.

Inter also now has a more formidable midfield thanks to the addition of Geoffrey Kondogbia. Kondogbia should slot in comfortably next to midfielders Freddy Guarin and Hernanes. Inter improved their attacking department as well by signing forward Stevan Jovetic and winger Jonathan Biabiany.

Biggest Threat

The prospect of Stevan Jovetic pairing up with last year's capocannoniere winner Mauro Icardi should definitely strike fear into the heart of any opposing goalkeeper.

Biggest Question Mark

Which Jovetic will Inter get? Since making his big money move to Manchester City a few years back, Jovetic has struggled to see the pitch. With a move back to the familiar territory of Serie A, can he be the vintage Jovetic from his stay at Fiorentina?

Scudetto Threat Factor: 2/10

This is being generous. The chances of Inter winning the scudetto are astronomically small. If Mancini works very hard next year, there's a very slim chance that Inter can be a dark horse and surprise the rest of Serie A. Again, very unlikely, but still possible.

Roma Threat Factor: 7/10

Make no mistake, this team will push Roma in the upcoming Serie A campaign. While Inter probably won't surpass any of last year's top teams next season, they've still managed to significantly close the gap in talent between themselves and the top teams in Serie A. There likely won't be a lot of room for error for Roma in the next Serie A campaign, especially with teams like Inter making sure that the gap in points between the top three clubs and the rest of the table that was apparent last season disappears next year.