Lock up your daughters, Serie A, there’s a new crush in town.
Good there was. During Juventus on a stroll for the first prize in Italy Calcio beauty pageant‘Inter lay in wait, hoping the age and luxurious lifestyle of the winner would catch up with the old lady. In fact, I became complacent to Bianconeri and the wrinkles were finally beginning to show up.
Inter took their place at the top, and with a fresh, vibrant charm that matched her clear complexion, I Nerazzurri were hot favorites to start their own period of domination.
But just days after winning the Scudetto for the first time in eleven long years, Inter suffered a series of slaps in the face that left them bloody and beaten beyond recognition. The departure of inspirational coach Antonio Conte tore this model’s heart, while the loss of Achraf Hakimi and possibly Christian Eriksen cost her some serious aesthetic grace.
With Simone Inzaghi at the helm, they are hoping for a quick start and the defense of their crown, despite the financial problems and the upcoming change in management. But how difficult are Inter’s first 10 games?
First genoa. As for the opening day games, you couldn’t ask for much better. Inter are tied at home on Matchday 1 and face I Rossoblu, who finished 11th last season.
So for the Nerazzurri the ideal circumstance to start their title defense. San Siro were a fortress last season and they shouldn’t have too many problems against such an opponent in midfield.
Three points already on the board, sure.
It’s hard to name. Hellas Verona surprised us all with their attacking and fearless style of play last season, but they subsided towards the end of the season.
Forward-thinking coach Ivan Juric has also left the club so we don’t know what shape he will be in at the start of the new season.
It should be pretty routine, but we put it in the middle of the road just in case Verona continues to shock us.
Sampdoria is never easy to take on and they have proven to be difficult clients last year under Claudio Ranieri. The smart trainer has left, however, so all eyes will be on how Samp gets along in the dugout without this charming man.
If Inter can get the maximum number of points in their first two games, it could be seen as the first serious banana peel of the season.
You can’t let up a second against Sampdoria, so full concentration and commitment are required.
Inter’s second home game of the season welcomes Bologna to San Siro, who are hoping to take away more than the zero points they collected from the champions last year.
However, we can’t assume they will be very lucky in Milan as the fearsome duo Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez should get the job done.
We expect a few goals for the hosts in this case.
Fiorentina is a somewhat underestimated basket case in European football. They manage to attract decent young players but never seem to string together a positive season.
They hired Gennaro Gattuso that summer but he left him 23 days later with concerns about the club’s governance. Make it what you want.
Either way, what should be a tricky trip to Florence can probably look pretty routine – unless Dusan Vlahovic turns the style on.
Atalanta is a site you would rather not come across. They are sturdy, full of endless races, they attack until the end and do not notice when they are beaten. Simply put, they are a force of nature.
The only boon is that Atalanta tends to start the season a little slower than they finish it.
But it’s going to be incredibly tough.
Another surprise package from last season, Sassuolo played exceptional football en route to eighth place. However, the main reasons for this high position in the table should have long since disappeared by the start of the new campaign.
Coach Roberto De Zerbi has already gone to Shakhtar Donetsk, while the future of Jeremie Boga and Manuel Locatelli are set to be separated from Emilia-Romagna.
This season could prove to be a crash landing on earth for Sassuolo fans.
Similar to many other teams at the top of Serie A, a change in leadership makes it difficult to predict how Lazio will start the new season. You’ve done a huge coup in hiring Maurizio Sarri, and although his style requires some learning, he always produces results.
It remains to be seen whether the key figures in the squad will remain. Luis Alberto and Joaquin Correa are aiming for an exit, and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic has been constantly associated with a big money move.
Even so, you’ll never have an easy afternoon in the Italian capital, and the Eagles are sure to run out of blood.
The only game that is more difficult than against Juventus at home is the away game against Juventus. Inter will be tasked with the lesser of the two evils on Matchday 9, but that won’t lift their spirits.
Massimiliano Allegri is back on the black and white hot seat and when he’s in charge Juve usually wins. However, the maestro’s return doesn’t hide the fact that I Bianconeri are a much weaker version of their former selves, and Inter can take advantage of that.
A potential early title taker on the cards, here.
To conclude the first 10 games, Inter must travel to Empoli. This shouldn’t be too problematic for a team that are currently champions of Italy.
By that time, the Serie A excitement will be gone for the hosts and they will face the realities of the high profile brawls again.
It cannot be taken for granted, but Inter should finish this series of games with three points.