7 Reasons Inter Milan Will Take Back the San Siro This Season
Inter did, somewhat surprisingly given the form and the talent of the two teams at the time, win both Serie A fixtures of the season and that is reminiscent of the 2009-10 season when they completely dominated the rivalry.
Every year these teams battle for supremacy in Milan and those battles sometimes have an effect on the title race.
Inter has had the upper hand in the title arena until recent seasons, when the introduction of Zlatan Ibrahimovic in particular gave the red half of Milan superiority.
With the changes both these teams have gone through this year and their ambitions for the season, Inter Milan has every chance of becoming the top team in Milan again.
Here are seven reasons why Inter Milan will take back the San Siro this season.
Milan Has Lost Key Players
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva gone, AC Milan has been severely weakened this season. (via ESPN Soccernet)
Along with those two, Milan let go many experienced players such as Clarence Seedorf, Alessandro Nesta and Mark Van Bommel. While this group has been replaced by a more youthful set of players, the quality of the new recruits isn't the same as those who've departed.
Inter Milan also went through some changes this summer but have a squad with more depth and star power than Milan.
Inter Milan's New Signings
Players like Alvaro Pereira, Walter Gargano, Antonio Cassano—brought in from Milan—and Gaby Mudingayi have been brought into the squad and provide some great options for Milan in key areas. (via Goal.)
The club also got a world-class keeper in Samir Handanovic. (via Uefa.com)
The return of players like Philippe Coutinho and Macdonald Mariga also give the squad some youth.
Bleacher Report's own Allan Jiang took a look at some of these signings and how good, or not, they were for Inter.
Wesley Sneijder is undoubtedly the major talent for both teams now that Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva have moved on to France.
He was the key man during their fantastic 2009-10 season but has not been the same since. Sneijder has gotten off to a great start this season with a goal and an assist already and looks set to become the leading light for the team again.
He recently stated his happiness with his current club and will look to retain his status as one of the world's premier playmakers this season.(via Sky Sports)
Experience and Quality
While both squads have their experienced players, Inter Milan comes out on top when you look at them on paper.
In defense the club can rely on Javier Zanetti, Walter Samuel and, despite his relative youth, Alvaro Pereira has some good experience on both the club and international level.
The midfield has the likes of Esteban Cambiasso, Dejan Stankovic and, of course, Wesley Sneijder. In attack the club can call on Rodrigo Palacio, Diego Milito and Antonio Cassano.
If you compare those players to a Mario Yepes, a Kevin Prince-Boateng—a good player but not on the same level as Sneijder—and a Giampaolo Pazzini, you can see why Inter has the edge.
Europa League vs. Champions League
AC Milan has the tougher competition and opposition when it comes to European play and that will have its effect on the squad.
It remains to be seen how far either team goes in its European competition but Inter has the easier road to start, with Rubin Kazan—not easy but beatable—Partizan and Neftchi Baku in its Europa League group.
The added fact that financial rewards are not the same for the Europa League may mean that Inter takes the competition less seriously and focuses on the Serie A instead.
The club could still go far given the right effort but they certainly would prefer a Serie A title over a Europa League one if those were the choices.
Inter Milan also has the upper hand in terms of the coaches both teams have.
This is not a knock against Massimiliano Allegri. He has already proven himself compared to his counterpart Andrea Stramaccioni.
The criteria in question here isn't titles won etc., but the motivation that the coach can bring to his squad. both squads are in need of more than just tactical tweaks and so forth and, from the looks of it, Stramaccioni has already done a good job in getting his squad's energy up after a poor season.
The Inter president made it known that choosing Stramaccioni was an easy choice because of his qualities and the young coach will want to repay the faith shown in him.(via Goal.com)
As Bleacher Report's own Mohamed Al-Hendy puts it, the season is very much in Stramaccioni's hands.
Hunger for Success
Inter Milan dominated Italian football for a few seasons and there are still some key members of those sides in the squad.
Add in the new signings and a young, energetic coach and you have a team hungry for success again.
Inter Milan has seen its two main title rivals win the Serie A in recent seasons and, though it won't be easy—especially against Juventus—Inter will want to regain its status as the best team in Italy.
If the players perform and the right decisions are made from the coaching staff, then it is very possible that Inter could be on top of Serie A and the San Siro when the season comes to an end.