I’ve mentioned it several times in these spaces throughout the year, but there are few teams on earth, regardless of sport, that I loathe more than Internazionale Milano. Born out of their early decade dominance—and by extension, dominance over Roma—my hatred for the blue and black side of Milan grew exponentially with each successive second place finish.
Quite naturally, then, I was delighted as the Nerazzurri swooned over the past several seasons, falling further and further out of Italy’s European places. Not one to rest on their laurels, Inter was busy this summer so let’s take a look and see what, if any, threat they pose to Roma.
Last Season: 4th place, 67 points, +12 goal differential
Manager: Frank de Boer
Key Additions: Gabigol, Antonio Candreva, Ever Banega, Joao Mario, Cristian Ansaldi
Key Losses: Juan Jesus...I guess
Well, despite those impressive signings and new ownership group, Inter decided to change leadership mere weeks before the season started. Not satisfied with their pre season performance, Inter cut ties with Roberto Mancini for the second time in eight seasons.
Not surprisingly, Inter has stumbled out of the gate, earning only one point from the season’s first two matches. However, once all their new signings gel with de Boer’s tactics, Inter could be a dangerous team.
Style of Play
Through his first two matches at the helm, de Boer has opted for the 3-4-1-2 and the 4-3-3, perhaps indicating that he’s still feeling out his new side. However, if we look to his last season at Ajax as a guide post, de Boer seems to prefer a four man backline, as he alternated between the 4-1-4-1 and the 4-2-3-1 last season in Amsterdam.
Either way, it seems as though de Boer’s line will be led by Mauro Icardi and Eder with Banega, Candreva and Geoffrey Kondogbia in support. It’s definitely an intriguing lineup and one Roma should not overlook.
Biggest Question Mark
I mean, it has to be Andrea Ranocchia, right? Inter won’t suffer for goals, that’s for sure, but their defense remains their biggest weakness, and as we saw last season, Samir Handanovic can only bail them out so often.
Scudetto Threat Factor: 0/10
With Icardi, Joao Mario and Gabigol in tow, things are looking up, but Inter is still a rung below the Juve’s, Napoli’s and Roma’s of the world.
Roma Threat Factor: 5/10
Given Roma’s penchant to blow late leads, Inter has more than enough firepower to steal some points from the Giallorossi.